1BBEB93A-C4B6-B387-BBC9-AF1B752C6C5E 1.02.28

Monday, September 14, 2009

some thoughts on indian summer

Around here this is when autumn has made her appearence and there is a period of sunny, warm weather in late October or early November.  Depending on the year it could be a bit earlier, but never later because it comes before the first snow fall.

Where did this term come from.  Myself and a few others were wondering so I did a Google search.

I have always loved looking up the etymology of words and sayings.  Sometime I agree and sometime I don't.

1.  Derived from the timing of Summer in India to correlate with good weather in Autumn in the western world.

2.  In the late 18th centruy Americas was used to possible indicate when the Native American raids on the European colonies had ended in autumn and there was a brief extension of summer like weather.

3.  Traditional the time in which Native American and early Europeans harvested their crops of squash and corn.

4.  The Eurpoean settlers saw the Native Americans as deceitful and treascherous and could mean 'false summer'.

Barring the raids, I see can see the term being used to give name when to do a harvest.  That was a common practise and I found different terms used throughout the world.

In rural Europe this time is called Saint Martin's Summer because it was seen to end on St Martin's Day 11 November.
In Italy Estate de San Martino
In Spain Veranillo de San Miguel or Veranillo de San Martin
In Galicia, northern Spain Veranino de San Martino
In Portugore Magnus Ustus which actually translate as Big Fire and this is where we see the shared Celtic origins of bonfires, roasted chestnuts and wine.

In Bulgaria циганско лято, tsigansko lyato, Gypsy Summer
In Sweden brittsommar, for Birgitta's name day in the Swedish calendar on 7 October
In Germany and Austria Altweibersommer  Old Ladies Summer which goes back to the Norse folklore and medieval witches.

I can also how the term Indian Summer could become derogtary like the term Indian giver.