St Hilary's day.
Despair ye not for once you reach the end of the 13th January you have supposedly survived the coldest day of the year.
It seems a bit odd that poor old St Hilary should get landed with this rather dubious honour and reputation on his saint day. Born in c300 his name is from the Latin for happy or cheerful. Eventually becoming the Bishop of Poitiers he is known for his scholarly works and his symbol is a quill and three books. Furthermore he is the patron saint against snake bites so from that potted history he hardly deserves this wintry association.
The connection was established from 13th January 1086 when a great frost started on this date and lasted well into March. Again on 13th January 1205 more freezing conditions descended to the point where the Thames froze and wine and ale were sold by the weight! Sadly it also brought in great great suffering, for the ground did not thaw until the Spring, resulting in soaring food prices and starvation for the populace.