Nature is a magical gift filled with a lot of unpredictabilities. In fact, Mother Earth has a lot of wonders lined up for us in different spirits and terms. Indian summer is another similar thing that you might have heard of but wonders what it really is. Therefore, we will bring you a few insights into what exactly is Indian summer you may long to know.

Interestingly, the term “Indian Summer” has nothing to do with the country India. Hence, the term itself has a history, and let’s see what we have found about that for you.

What Is Indian Summer and How It Got Its Name?

An Indian summer is a time of unseasonably warm, dry weather that seldomly happens in autumn. It occurs in warm regions of the northern hemisphere from September to November. However, the official definition of the Indian summer should meet some criteria. They are as follows:

  • It can’t just be any old warm season. The environment also has to be dull or smoky with no breeze. The barometer must be rising high, and nights should be brisk and cloudless.
  • The mist and temperature fluctuation between day and night began by a moving, calm, slight polar air mass turning into a profound, warm, inert high-pressure system.
  • The warm days must follow a blast of chilly weather or a good hard frost.

History of Indian Summer

The term began in New England. And, it apparently derived from the Indians’ tradition of assembling winter stores at this period.

According to the New England Historical Society, the most initial use of the phrase was in the late 1700s. Boston lexicographer Albert Matthews discovered it in a letter written in 1778 by a New York farmer, Hector St. John de Crevecoeur. And he thought it was a general acceptance at the time. However, other theories also involved Native Americans.

For example, some recommended the mini-season was suggested because it’s the season of the year when Native Americans usually hunted. Moreover, since they were the ones who initially described it to Europeans. Furthermore, others speculated that it got its name because the public marked the unseasonably warm weather in areas where Native Americans lived.

Politician Daniel Webster said he believed colonial homesteaders acquired the name because they considered Native Americans built great fires accountable for the vaporous haziness in the air.

Additionally, others say homesteaders named the period after the Native Americans thought the temperate weather a gift from Cautantowwit, a god who existed in the Southwest.

Modern-day Terms and Celebrations of Indian Summer

Traditional houses of native Americans
Traditional houses of native Americans

However, these autumn heatwaves are also popular in other parts of the world, known as Indian summers in the United Kingdom. But in more rustic regions, the season has different names.

For example, in mid-October, it would have been termed “St Luke’s Little Summer” as the celebration day of St Luke happens on October 18. Meanwhile, in mid-November, it would be ”St Martin’s Summer” as St Martin’s festival day is November 11. Thus, the sources say that Shakespeare also used the phrase ”All Halloween Summer” in Henry IV part I for a time of warm sunshine as October gives way to November. However, the current term used for Indian summer is ”Old Wives’ Summer”.

Anyway, various countries, including England, Italy, Sweden, and Portugal, have outdoor festivities celebrating the week that involves St. Martin’s Day. But there are also exceptions, including St. Luke’s summer celebrations and “All Hallown Summer” (All Saints Day on November 1).

So, we hoped you gathered and learned the information on what exactly is Indian summer. Would you please mind leaving us a comment below and let us know what you feel?

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