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Five days of weather chaos until spring comes: When are the ice saints in 2021 and what do they mean?

The ice saints are due in May. They are usually the last frost of the year, but can also cause lasting damage to many plants. Important facts about the ice saints 2021.

Munich – May has started and the ice saints 2021 are due in a few days. The “strict ice men” are responsible for low temperatures almost every year. They interrupt the spring weather with a cold snap and the frost period lasts a total of five days. The ice saints take place on the same date every year. Therefore, many are now looking at the weather forecast for Germany with regard to their garden and the plants.

Bodenfrost in Bayern


Ground frost in May

Every year, on the name days of the five saints, we expect the ice saints. In 2018 and 2019, the ice saints were rather mild. In 2020, however, the ice saints brought a few days of ground frost and, in some locations, snow.

In northern Germany the ice saints last three days. Because Pankratius is the first ice saint in the south of the country and Bonifatius and Cold Sophie are among them, there are four there.

Meaning of the ice saints

The ice saints and their peasant rules come from the Julian calendar. Depending on the region, ice saints include three to five different saints and their consecutive days of remembrance. The ice saints represent the last danger of cold or frost in May. The spring weather only becomes milder with the passing of the “Cold Sophie”.

Names of the Ice Saints

  • Mamertus – fifth century bishop in Vienne, France
  • Pancras – was martyred in the fourth century
  • Servatius – in the fourth century bishop of Tongeren, Belgium
  • Boniface – Sicilian martyr in the fourth century
  • Sophia / Kalte Sophie – died a martyr in Rome in the second century

There are regional differences among the ice saints. In northern Germany, Mamertus, Pankratius and Servatius are considered ice saints. In the south and southeast of Germany, in addition to Pankratius and Servatius, Bonifatius and the “Cold Sofia” are also included.

When are the ice saints in 2021?

It starts on May 11th with St. Mamertus, which is more common in northern Germany, and on May 15th the ice saints end with the name day of St. Sophia of Rome.

  • 11. Mai – Mamertus
  • 12. May – Pankratius
  • 13. Mai – Servatius
  • 14. Mai – Bonifatius
  • May 15 – Sophie

Ice Saints 2021: How will the weather be?

During the ice saints there are always unusual drops in temperature. In May, many high and low areas can be identified with temperature currents that meet over northern and southern Germany. Therefore, strong air mass changes are to be expected during this time, which can cause night frost.

According to the German Weather Service (DWD), the forecast for May 11th to 15th is currently: “On Tuesday only a few showers in the west and northwest, otherwise rainy in many places, in Lusatia and southeast Bavaria there may also be individual thunderstorms. Highs 15 to 21 degrees, in the east and south-east possibly even higher. Moderate north-westerly winds with fresh gusts. Before that, the temperatures in Germany were very summery, and there was a heat wave on Mother’s Day. You can read a long-term forecast for the weather in May 2021 here.

Often dry at night in the west and northwest, otherwise rain in some areas, sometimes longer. Lows 11 to 5 degrees.

On Wednesday in the south and east it continued to rain, sometimes longer, in the north and west only a few showers or dry. Maximum values in continuous rain 11 to 15 degrees, otherwise 15 to 20 degrees. Moderate northwest wind.

At night in the eastern half, rain or showers continued, to the west too loosened and only a few showers, 10 to 4 degrees.

On Thursday and Friday inconsistent with showers and thunderstorms, in some areas also rain and only a little sun in between. It is cool to moderately warm. On Saturday only a few showers and a slight increase in temperature. “

What should be considered with plants?

So-called late or spring frosts, which occur after the start of the growing season, are dangerous for sensitive plants in the garden. Because these are already sprouting stimulated by the spring sun, some are even in bloom. Therefore, according to the German Weather Service (DWD), late frosts can cause damage, especially in fruit, vegetable and viticulture. The fruit vegetables that we love, such as tomatoes, peppers, aubergines and cucumbers, originally come from warmer regions. We must therefore prefer them indoors and are only allowed to put them outdoors after the ice saints.

Peasant rules for the ice saints

There are numerous peasant rules and proverbs about the ice saints, which are particularly important in the garden and plant sector. Here some examples:

  • Saint Mamerz has a heart made of ice.
  • When it freezes on Pancratius, a lot is ruined in the garden.
  • Servaz has to be over, want to be safe from night frost.
  • No summer before Boniface, no frost after Sophie.
  • The cold Sophie, in the end, likes to bring another downpour.
  • You won’t be in the night frost until Sophie is over.

When is the sheep cold in 2021?

A few weeks after the ice saints, the next farmer’s rule comes – the sheep’s cold. This only occurs in Central Europe. This is a meteorological singularity, i.e. a weather situation that is highly likely to occur at a certain time in the year. If it gets cold and wet again between June 4th and 20th, it is called sheep cold. The reason for the cold snap is the moist and cool air flowing in from the northwest.

When is dormouse 2021?

The dormouse day is June 27th. There are various peasant rules, such as “The weather on the dormouse day may stay seven more weeks” or “If the dormouse is wet, it rains incessantly.” According to this, rainy weather promises a rainy summer.

List of rubric lists: © Stephan Jansen / dpa

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