If your are coming from south of Europe or any where else than central Europe and Germany, perhaps you don’t know any thing about what I am going to talk in this post. Have you noticed the sudden drop in the temperature few days ago here in Vienna. One of my friends told me he heard in news there were some parts of Austria even with -3 degrees!!!!! So the truth to be revealed, Sophie is to be blamed!
I am just kidding, the story is that in the folkloric belief in central Europe (also parts of Balkan,France and the Netherlands), there are saint who are associated with the end of the cold weather that (surprisingly) usually takes place in mid may. More precisely:
11 May: St. Mamertus
12 May: St. Pankratius
13 May: St. Servatius
14 May: St. Bonifatius
15 May: St. Sophie
In German the last one is called “Die Kalte Sophieâ€. It is believed she brings cold weather with her and centuries ago people used to ask her help for seeds in their farms. Today I heard from an Austria lady at my work that there is an extension to this folkloric belief here: if it rains on the day of “Die Kalte Sophieâ€, it will keep on raining for 40 days. Thankfully “die Kalte Sophieâ€ is over and we are safe from a 40-day rain.
Next time you are visiting the St. Stephan’c church in Vienna, try to find the column inside the church where St. Sophie is depicted on.
(picture: thermometer in Hietzing metro station showing 12 degrees this morning. Just remember the weather in Vienna 10 days ago !)