Calcium Products - FSF Indian Summer
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FSF Indian Summer

 

 

INDIAN SUMMER

Meaning: An unseasonably warm, dry and calm weather, usually following a period of colder weather or frost in the late Autumn.

Origin: Indian summer is first recorded in Letters From an American Farmer, a 1778 work by the French-American soldier turned farmer J. H. St. John de Crèvecoeur (a.k.a. Michel-Guillaume-Jean de Crèvecoeur): "Then a severe frost succeeds which prepares it to receive the voluminous coat of snow which is soon to follow; though it is often preceded by a short interval of smoke and mildness, called the Indian Summer."
 
The English already had names for the phenomenon - St. Luke’s Summer, St. Martin’s Summer or All-Hallown Summer, In Galicia (northern Spain), it is called Veraniño de San Martiño, and in Portugal it is called "Verão de São Martinho," both of which refer to St. Martin's summer. In Welsh, it is known as "Haf Bach Mihangel" or (St.) Michael's Little Summer - St. Michael's Day being on 29 September. In Lithuania this time is called "Bobu vasara", which translates to "summer of old ladies"
 
In Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Czech Republic,  and in Croatia it is called Women's Summer/Babye Leto. In Bulgaria, the phenomenon is sometimes called "Gypsy Summer", and in some places "Gypsy Christmas" and refers to unseasonably warm weather in late fall, or a warm spell in between cold periods. 
 
In Sweden it is called "brittsommar", which is derived from Birgitta and Britta, who have their "name day" in the Swedish calendar on October 7. That is when Britt Mass, an official fall open-air market, was held.
 
In Germany and Austria it is called "Altweibersommer", in Hungary "vénasszonyok nyara" (Old Ladies' Summer or Crone's Summer) because the many white spiders seen at this time of the year have been associated with the norns of Norse folklore or medieval witches. In Flanders (Belgium) it is also called "Oudewijvenzomer" (Old Ladies' Summer) or "Trezekeszomer" ("St-Theresa's Summer -- St-Theresa's Day being on 15 October). 
 
In Latvia this period is called "Atvasara", which translates to "re-summer" or "return/repeat/flashback of summer". In Turkey the term "pastirma yazi", meaning Pastrami Summer is used.
 
These have now all but disappeared and, like the rest of the world, the term Indian summer has been used in the UK for at least a century.
 
Why Indian? Well, no one knows but, as is commonplace when no one knows, many people have guessed. Here are a few of the more commonly repeated guesses:
When European settlers first came across the phenomenon in America it became known as the Indian's Summer.
The haziness of the Indian Summer weather was caused by prairie fires deliberately set by Native American tribes.
It was the period when First Nations/Native American peoples harvested their crops.
The phenomenon was more common in what were then North American Indian territories.
It relates to the marine shipping trade in the Indian Ocean (this is highly dubious as it is entirely remote from the early US citations).

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  • Article Reference:: Calcium Products, Inc.
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