The legend of São Martinho and the return of summer in Portugal

Every year is (almost) always the same. Come the first days of November, autumn is suspended, summer returns. We’ve all become used to these weather daydreams and actually not even care much about them. It is pleasant to feel those sunbeams that was already fading. It is the summer of Saint Martin, the warm period in the middle of November, that comes to “break the ice”.


The meteorological explanation 

It is likely that you are reading this article under a summer sun, after a lot of rain, some so intense that caused the floods. Legends aside, there is a meteorological justification for the good weather that is felt: the atmosphere is adjusting to the new season, to rebalance itself.

The period corresponds to a range of a “meteorological float” between two stations: we had the summer, the autumn equinox came and now the Earth is preparing for winter. However, the air moves as a function of solar absorbing and depends on the season. During the summer, the earth’s atmosphere absorbs more solar energy than it loses. But during the winter starts to happen otherwise. In between time, the Earth’s atmosphere adjusts to ensure energy balance, and then we can watch atypical phenomena like this.

 The legend of St. Martin 

As for the legend, it is better known, and survived the time since the Roman Empire so far: Martin was a God-fearing soldier who had fought in France and returned to Italy. As he crossed the Alps, wrapped up in a red robe, he found a man feeling cold in the rain and hungry. Martin had no food to give him, but he had the cloak and a sword: tore his cloak in half and covered the man to warm up. And then the clouds disappeared and the sun shone again. For three days, God forgot it was autumn and the summer returned.

Now Martin actually existed. Born in the first century in present-day Hungary, but was raised in Italy by a pagan family. Converted to Christianity and founded the oldest monastery in Europe, located in a commune called Ligugé. He lived in function of others, preaching the biblical teaching and serving the most disadvantaged as bishop of Tours. He died on November 11, the day in which we celebrate today the Day of St. Martin. He was buried after three days.

Legend or not, the truth is that this sun rarely fall in failure. And this year the good deed of Saint Martin it still will be worth a week of mild temperatures and strong sun. Enjoy!!!