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Are the saints to blame for the cold snap in May in Poland? Posted by on May 15, 2019 in Countries, Culture, Legends, weather, winter

St Pancras is a member of a trio known as the Ice Saints. The others are St Servatius and St Mamertus. Their chilly collective name comes from the traditional belief that their days, 11th, 12th and 13th of May, bring cold weather and the last frost of the year. It was noted that there was often a brief spell of colder weather from May 12th to 15th, including the last frosts of spring under the Julian Calendar. Some gardeners in Europe will not plant until the Ice Saints have gone. They are well known in Germany, Poland, Austria and Switzerland.

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

This year we had the longest winter in New Hampshire I have ever remembered since moving to USA…I love 4 season and all the weather changes, however 7 moths of winter weather definitely put me over the edge!

Every time I spoke with my family in Poland though, they kept telling me how their winter was short and they were having spring like weather in March! Jealous!!! Skiing is fun, but by end of March I’ve had enough of shoveling, keeping the house warm and…I was waiting for the warm days to come.

I grew up on a big fruit farm. I do understand that people in this business depend on the weather a lot and one night of frost can destroy the whole year of income…:( And after early Spring that comes earlier than usual, there is a chance for a frosty night in May that can destroy everything!

In Poland the Ice Saints are known as the zimni ogrodnicy (cold gardeners), and are followed by Zimna Zośka (cold Sophie’s) which falls on May 15th. Cold Sophie is usually winter’s last hurrah, sending a blast of cold icy air. Summer may be coming, but Cold Sophie will remind you of winter’s power as she says farewell for a while with a kindly reminder: “I’ll be back. Don’t get too comfortable.”

So who is to blame for the cold snap in Poland???

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About the Author: Kasia

My name is Kasia Scontsas. I grew up in Lublin, Poland and moved to Warsaw to study International Business. I have passion for languages: any languages! Currently I live in New Hampshire. I enjoy skiing, kayaking, biking and paddle boarding. My husband speaks a little Polish, but our daughters are fluent in it! I wanted to make sure that they can communicate with their Polish relatives in our native language. Teaching them Polish since they were born was the best thing I could have given them! I have been writing about learning Polish language and culture for Transparent Language’s Polish Blog since 2010.


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