September 25, 2013 —
REGION — According to the 2014 edition of the Old Farmer’s Almanac, many people refer to any period of warm weather in the fall as an example of Indian Summer. But, the Almanac says, there are other conditions that must also occur in order for a period of time to be accurately referred to Indian Summer.
The atmosphere should be “hazy or smoky,” with clear, cold nights and little or no wind. Also “The time of occurrence is important: The warm days must follow a spell of cold weather or a good hard frost.”
And most specifically of all, “The conditions described above must occur between St. Martin’s Day (November 11) and November 20. For over 200 years, The Old Farmer’s Almanac has adhered to the saying, ‘If All Saints’ (November 1) brings out winter, St. Martin’s brings out Indian summer.’”
That may be so, but still the Indian Summer Festival in Milwaukee, WS was held in the first week of September this year, as was the Indian Summer Festival in Hertford, NC.
Also, the concept of Indian Summer, which almost everyone agrees was spawned in North America, has now moved across the Atlantic, and people in England and Ireland put that label on bouts of warm weather they experience in the fall.
Perhaps, though, not for long. This paragraph comes from an article in the on-line BBC News Magazine from the fall of 2011: “Autumn heat waves such as this are frequently dubbed ‘Indian summers’. But in the last few years the term seems to have become slightly less popular, possibly as a consequence of political correctness in the U.S. Somehow, ‘Native American summer’ doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it?”