Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Welcome the Ice Saints

Not a lot of people in the English-speaking world know this, but across Central Europe, these are the days of the Ice Saints. From a very pleasant +23C on Saturday afternoon, the daytime high today managed to muster a mere +15C; quite a difference. Despite the sunshine, strolling outside in my shirtsleeves today, I felt distinctly chilly.

The feast days of St Pancras (after whom London's most glorious railway station is named), St Servatus (the patron saint of paper napkins) and St Boniface fall, respectively, on 12, 13 and 14 May. The days are accompanied, even with all the climate change that's going on around us, by a noticeable fall in temperature. And so, on cue, it was today.

The 'cold gardeners', as the three saints' days are called, culminate in Cold Sophie's Day (Świętej Zofii) on 15 May. Observant Poles - observant of weather patterns that is - avoid outdoor events during this week. I do recall a couple of barbeques through which I've shivvered, huddling around the charcoal, at this time of year.

And not a lot of people in the Polish-speaking world know that the German-speaking world also has its Ice Saints!

SUPPLEMENTARY (Weds 13 May) : I cycled to work for the fourth time this year, and for the first time it was too cold to remove my jacket either on the way in or riding home. Daytime high today +14C, strong sunshine, strong northerly wind.

This time last year:
Devoted shriners
Jeziorki like a 1950s USA Kodachrome
Nowa Iwiczna, Mysiadło and the Rampa
Celebrating the sublime garden in May

This time two years ago:
The Future of Warsaw's Suburbs

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