By Monique Palomares
St. George’s Day is on April 23rd.
In France, Saint George’s Day is the first of the four “Horsemen” or “Horsemen of the Cold” (in French Les Cavaliers or Les Cavaliers du froid). What we call The Horsemen are 4 days at the end of April and beginning of May on which the weather is generally colder. Gardeners and vine growers are weary of late frosty days. The second one is St Mark’s Day (April 25th), the third one is St. Eutropius’ Day (April 30th), The fourth is The Invention of the Cross (May 3rd) and sometimes a 5th one is added: St John before the Latin Gate (May 6th). In Occitan, we call these days Jorget, Marquet, Tropet, Croset, Joanet. (Sometimes “Tropet” is left aside.)
Later come what we call “Les saints de glace” (The Saints of Ice). They are St. Mamertus, St. Pancratius and St. Servatius (in French St Mamert, St Pancrace, St Servais) on respectively May 11th, 12th, and 13th. On those days the weather’s supposed to be cold.
You won’t find these days on a regular calendar. The Catholic Church removed them in 1960. They seemed to be… “not very Catholic” (this expression means “not very Kosher”, so to speak). When they’re over, Winter is definitively over and Summer is on its way.
Monique works with me on Mama Lisa’s World en français. – Lisa
This article was posted on Saturday, April 22nd, 2006 at 11:35 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, France, French, Holidays Around the World, Languages, Occitan, Occitan, The Four Horsemen of the Cold - Les Cavaliers du froid. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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