September 27, 2023 – The season taking place right now with unusually warm weather in Croatia is colloquially known as bablje ljeto (Eng. grandmother’s summer, old woman’s summer). It is the period of the year when it starts looking and feeling a little like autumn, then decides to revert back to summer for a little longer. Some love it, others maybe not so much, but it always makes an appearance, just in case. And everyone wonders why it’s called that.
According to Wikipedia, midsummer (in Croatian also known as Miholjsko ljeto or Martinjsko ljeto) is a well-known term, referring to an extended period of warm and dry weather, which occurs after the calendar beginning of autumn. Where did the common Croatian expression come from, then? There are several theories.
According to one, as 24Sata writes, bablje ljeto was derived from the name for the cobweb threads that young spiders weave to “sail” through the air in autumn. In most Slavic languages, these are called bapske vlasi (from baba = old woman, witch).
In popular belief, this is the period when new witches would appear, and the cobweb represents their hair. An old belief also exists, that there will be a wedding if a flying cobweb gets entangled in a young girl’s hair.
In many European languages, the term is known as such, but there are other forms, such as the previously mentioned Miholjsko ljeto and Martinjsko ljeto (referring to Saint Michael and Saint Martin, celebrated on September 29 and November 11, respectively). In Bulgaria, it’s known as gypsy summer, and in the Netherlands as late summer. In the USA, it’s Indian summer.
Weather in Croatia for the Weekend
For this year’s bablje ljeto, weather in Croatia will be mostly sunny, occasionally with moderate clouds. In the interior, fog in places in the morning. Wind will be weak to moderate northeast. On the Adriatic, a weak to moderate gale, sometimes with strong gusts, at the foot of Velebit stormy, and from the middle of the day in the central and southern parts southwest and northwest. The highest daily temperature will be between 25 and 30 °C, slightly lower in the mountains, writes DHMZ.