the Ice Kings

Benjamin Fortson fortson at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Tue May 21 17:47:29 UTC 2002

This is sort of an old German thing. The German equivalent is
Eisheilige, which doesn't mean "ice kings" but "ice saints", referring to
five saints whose days are May 11-15.


On Tue, 21 May 2002, Mark A Mandel wrote:

> from a correspondent:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Tue, 21 May 2002 11:30:37 +0100
> By the by, I thought I'd mention an expression my mother used this
> weekend that I only hear from her at this time of year.
> She says that her grandmother used to say that you shouldn't plant
> before May 15, because May 13/14/15 were the Ice Kings. After them,
> it doesn't frost. (Well, except this year, which is why she was
> talking about the rule being broken. It frosted last night, even!)
> Now, my mother says this is an old German thing. A lot of times, that
> seems to mean it's an "old Germans who live in Dayton" thing, and is
> long forgotten in Germany. Obviously the climate differences would
> mean that the Ice Kings would have to be different days in Germany,
> too.
> But has anybody else ever heard of this? Googling various keywords on
> the Web and Usenet produced only hockey references....

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