The 16th of October is the feast day of St Gallus.
Many agricultural traditions were centred on St Gallus Day:
- All fruit to be used as seed for next year should be stored by now in the cellar;
- All eating apples should be stored in the cellar;
- Rain on this day was good fortune;
- If there’s a lot of rain, it will rain until Christmas;
- If there’s no rain, it will be dry next summer;
- After today, the cows stay indoors;
- This was the traditional day when they start smoking their hams in northern Germany (hams such as Katenschinken);
- The annual St Gallus Market (“Gallimarkt”) fair starts in Grünberg, Hesse-Darmstad, Germany. The fair lasts a week;
- There is also a St Gallus Market in Leer, East Friesland, Germany. It has been held since 1508, and attracts about 1/2 million people.
Saint Gallus (c. 550 – c. 646) is also known as Saint Gall. He was born in Ireland. He travelled with Saint Columbanus from Ireland to what is now the Arbon area of Switzerland, 1/2 hour north of Appenzell where Appenzeller Cheese now comes from. The Canton of St Gallen there is named after him.
He spent the rest of his life there.
There are many fanciful legends about his life. He is pictured with a bear that legend said he tamed.
Despite being an “Irish / Swiss” saint, he is very popular in Germany.