Surprised about the spell of cold and rainy weather?? No need!
The Ice Saints take place from May 11, 2019 till May 15, 2019. The Ice Saints is a name given to St. Mamertus, St. Pancras, and St. Servatius in folklore of some Europe countries. They are so named because their feast days fall on the days of May 11, May 12, and May 13 respectively.
The period from May 11 to May 15 was noted to bring a brief spell of colder weather in many years.
My grandmother grew up in Austria with that being the rule and has instilled it on at least two more generations. These saints – St. Mamertus, St. Pancras, St. Servatius, St. Boniface and St. Sophia (also called Cold Sophia) – who have feast days on May 11 – 15 respectively – were said to have feasts that fell during the last possible cold snap of the year before autumn. So if you waited to plant until after their feast days, you were generally considered safe. Exactly which saints are included in the group depends on where you live – the first three are included everywhere.
According to The Big Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions, this tradition stems from the idea that these saints played a trick on the people by bringing a frost. In the fifth century, Archbishop Mamertus began a tradition rogation days, prayer and processions around the crops, orchards and animals, asking God to protect them from the saint’s wrath.
A 2013 article from The Guardian says that as late as the seventeenth century, Galileo and his students were studying the Ice Saints and weather patterns around their feasts. They found the legends of the cold naps to be accurate. However, it also states that more recent studies aren’t so certain.