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Lost day

Term for fixed days in the calendar which, according to old popular belief (superstition), enable predictions to be made about the weather; see under country rules.

Term for old folk sayings, usually in rhyme, about the weather in relation to a later point in the year and the usually drastically formulated positive or negative consequences for agriculture. Predictions are made on the basis of past experience. They have been developed over centuries through close observation of natural events and have been passed down from generation to generation.

The predictions often refer to a so-called Lostag. Lot days (also known as Lurtage) are fixed days in the calendar which, according to ancient folklore, allow predictions to be made about the weather conditions of the following weeks, months and, more rarely, the coming year, determine the most favourable time for various agricultural activities (such as sowing or harvesting) and also allow forecasts to be made about the expected harvest.

Bauernregeln - Ist Dreikönig hell und klar, gibt’s guten Wein im neuen Jahr!

One of the many examples is "If Epiphany is bright and clear, there will be good wine in the New Year". The question remains as to which wine-growing region is meant by this and who determines the quality of the wine or wines and in what way. This can be very different in a particular wine-growing region.


The term "Lostag" is derived from "Los" (fate). When determining the lot days, people often orientated themselves on the name or commemoration days (usually death days) of Catholic saints. One example is St Gallus, on which the grape harvest was supposed to have ended in ancient times (16 October). This day also used to mark the end of the temporary employment of vineyard keepers. The reliability or accuracy of farmers' rules has always been questioned, as evidenced by sayings such as " When the cock crows, the weather changes - or it stays as it is".

Statistical analyses have shown an astonishingly high degree of accuracy, taking into account the area of origin of the respective farmer's rule. If the date shift of ten days resulting from the introduction of the Gregorian calendar in 1582 is taken into account, the degree of reliability supposedly increases even further. The scientific explanation for the high accuracy of the lost days is provided by the major weather patterns that emerge early on or are highly likely to recur annually. The lost days merely show statistical correlations. The weather is not orientated towards them, so there is no causal relationship.

The probability of individual lost days is between 60 and 90% - proof for supporters of this theory. In contrast, weather forecasts for the next week are only above 50%. This is also due to the fact that lottery days often only provide general 50:50 statements (rains, doesn't rain), whereas weather forecasts are far more complex. From a scientific point of view, the farmer's rules can be categorised as esoteric.

Lost days in viticulture

In viticulture, there are also numerous farmer's rules, or "lost days". These do not necessarily have to conform to the rules for general agriculture. For example, rain at the time of the grape harvest is undesirable for the winegrower, but can be beneficial for a farmer who grows other crops. One example is the saying: " September rain - a blessing for the farmer, poison for the winegrower when it hits him." It is noticeable that grain and wine often have a "common fate". And now 100 winemaking rules/lost days from January to December:


  • If Epiphany is bright and clear, there will be good wine in the new year (6 January)
  • If Vincent has a flood of water,...

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Roman Horvath MW

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Roman Horvath MW
Domäne Wachau (Wachau)

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