Monday, 10 May 2010

Les Saints de Glace

The Ice Saints are those whose fêtes are on 11, 12 and 13 May. There is a saint for every day in France, and the saints for these particular dates are Saint Mamert, Saint Pancrace and Saint Servais. These are old saints, now desanctified and replaced by new Vatican approved saints, but there is much to be said for the agricultural tradition associated with the Saints de Glace. Farmers and gardeners watch the skies warily in May, because hail can damage seedlings and burgeoning fruit. In the old days, of course, one hail storm could easily spell the difference between living well and living on the edge for a year.

Not hail, but dandelions. We hope it will
be this way for the next few days as well
Our friend Jill brought the Saints de Glace to our attention, after a conversation with her neighbour, a fine source of French folklore. Last year there was hail on two of these three dates, and I noticed that our neighbour Monsieur Q. didn't plant out his tomato seedlings until after the 13th.

What will this year bring I wonder?

Susan

4 comments:

  1. I'm on me way down to the allotment to strim this morning.... before the sea of yellow turns to a sea of fluffy white... Got back here to 10" high grass and loads o' pissenlit coming into flower.
    Currently sorting and packing like mad... no completion date yet.

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  2. My pissen-lits have also come out with a vengeance this year . They are already turning into fluffy whites and blowing away . Here too we start planting tomatoes or peppers only on the last WE of May- we are expecting frost tonight btw.

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  3. Today it is misty and cool. I have now bought a mower, but it's been too wet to use it, plus the petrol can is in Célestine's boot, and she's been at the garagistes. Only one of my neighbours has mowed, so I assume my dandelions are not too anti-social.

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  4. Hmmm les trois jours de glace...so far on the evening of the 10th there was 30mm rain and very hard, large hailstones in neighbouring village resulting in white coverage which stayed 'like snow' for half an hour...today merely resulted in a day long mist and chilly wind reaching a balmy 9 degrees...stoking up the fire for first time in May..roll on Summer, or even Spring would do!

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