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"Cold Sophie" the Ice Saint
The Ice Saints and Sophie the Ice Woman
Saint Sophia of Rome (died ca. 304) is venerated as a Christian martyr. According to tradition, she was a young woman of Rome who was killed for her faith during the reign of Diocletian. She was buried in the cemetery of Gordianus and Epimachus.
...She was invoked against frosts that occurred late in the year; thus she was called kalte Sophie 'cold Sophia' in Germany by those who invoked her aid in planting arable crops. She is thus considered to be one of the "Ice Saints".
The Ice Saints is the name given to St. Mamertus, St. Pancras, and St. Servatius in Flemish, French, Dutch, Hungarian, German, Austrian, Polish, Swiss and Croatian folklore. They are so named because their feast days fall on the days of May 11, May 12, and May 13 respectively. In Flanders St. Boniface of Tarsus is counted amongst the Ice Saints as well; St. Boniface's feast day falling on May 14. The period from May 12 to May 15 was noted to bring a brief spell of colder weather in many years, including the last nightly frosts of the spring, in the Northern Hemisphere under the Julian Calendar. With the change to the Gregorian Calendar, however, the equivalent days would be May 23–May 26.
In Poland and the Czech Republic, the Ice Saints are St. Pancras, St. Servatus and St. Boniface of Tarsus (i.e, May 12 to May 14). To the Poles, the trio are known collectively as zimni ogrodnicy (cold gardeners), and are followed by zimna Zośka (cold Sophia's) on the feast day of St. Sophia which falls on May 15. In Czech, the three saints are collectively referred to as "ledoví muži" (ice-men or icy men), and Sophia is known as "Žofie, ledová žena" (Sophia, the ice-woman).
In Sweden, the German legend of the ice saints has resulted in the belief that there are special "iron nights", especially in the middle of June, which are susceptible to frost. The term "iron nights" (järnnätter) has probably arisen through a mistranslation of German sources, where the term "Eismänner" (ice men) was read as "Eisenmänner" (iron men) and their nights then termed "iron nights", which then became shifted from May to June.
Folklore states that there is a risk of frost round these ice saints days and the risk will be until Cold Sophie 15th May.