Where Does the Phrase “St. Martin’s Summer” Come From and What Does St. Martin’s Summer Mean?

The phenomenon of a spell of warm, bright, pleasant weather occurring well after the official start of autumn is known to people in many parts of the world, and the event, known to North Americans as Indian summer, is known by many names.

Thus, St. Martin’s Day is November 11, and when the summer-like weather occurs near that date, it is St. Martin’s summer to the British (ite de la Saint-Martin to the French).

Similarly, St. Luke’s Day is October 18, and All Saints’ Day is November 1, and thus we may have, if the weather co-operates, St. Luke’s summer or All Saints’ (or All Hallows’) summer at an earlier time of year.

Incidentally, the reason for the name Indian summer has never been explained with full satisfaction to all concerned.

It has been known and used at least since the late eighteenth century.

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