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  • Toni Šimundža

AN OLD LADY'S SUMMER?

Updated: Sep 14

Altweibersommer (de.)

vénasszonyok nyara (hu.)

babí léto (cz.)

бабье лето (rus.)


One of the reasons why Croatia attracts so many expats, except the crystal-clear Adriatic seawater, is its mild Mediterranean climate and sunny weather throughout the year. For example, island Hvar is enjoying its reputation of the sunniest island with astonishing 2700 sunny hours a year. Across Europe there is a phenomenon describing a period of warm, dry and sunny weather that occurs in Autumn. Croatia is no exception to this phenomenon, which is locally called bablje lito (literally translated as old woman’s summer).


What Croatians call bablje lito in the US used to be known as Indian summer, until a couple of years back when the term became marked as politically incorrect. In most European languages this phenomenon is known as old woman’s summer because it is the time of the year when summer is officially over, but grannies can still warm their old bones in the sun.



Another theory explaining the etymology behind bablje lito is connected to spider web that appears in nature during early autumn. Thin and white spider web bathing in sun reminded Slavic people of old woman’s hair and, according to folk belief, that was also the season when new witches were being recruited. Spider web symbolically represented witch hair, therefore, the name for warm autumn season was – bablje lito! We have no idea what kind of witchcraft that is, we can only enjoy its sunny spell .



Thanks to bablje lito, early autumn can serve us as extended hot girl summer. Many locals describe bablje lito as most enjoyable time of the year, when they can enjoy less crowded beaches and clear starry nights. Meteorogically speaking, it is not summer, but it sure feels like it.


Summer isn’t over until Bago says it’s over!

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