I've got some questions about this phrase:
A la Sainte Luce, les jours croissent du saut d'une puce
I can only find pages in French about it seem to be discussing the shortness of the day around that time of the year (St Luce's day = 13th) and/or how little the length of the day varies. What is the general meaning here? Is it the shortness of the day, or how little the length of the day varies (both are true around the Winter solstice, but which is being indicated by this expression?).
Could an idiomatic translation be:
Around December 13th, the days creep along at a snail's pace?
Second question, "A la Sainte Luce", does that literally mean "on St Luce's day" or does it mean "around" or "leading up to"?
Third question, is St Luce the same person the English refer to as St Lucy, as in John Donne's poem A nocturnal on St Lucy's Day, being the shortest day.
If yes, why is St Luce on the 13th and St Lucy's day on the 21st?
Last question is 'saut d'une puce' (flea's leap?) a standard phrase, and if so presumably it indicates either a very short distance or a short time?
So many questions, so few answers!