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Balkan’s exclusive: Košava, a wind that blows here and nowhere else

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The Balkans are so special, they even have a branded wind that doesn’t blow anywhere else on the planet. This almost extinct wind is typical for the colder months of the year: the fall and winter seasons. It sounds cool to have your own wind, but what’s not so cool is surviving it, once the temperature drops below 10 C and you feel košava wind on your skin, in your hair, and in your bones. Like you are not wearing those 10 layers of clothing at all.

The Basics of Košava Wind

The name “Košava” derives from the Turkish words “kos” and “hava” which in translation literally means “a fast wind.” Košava is a merciless southeastern wind, and it brings dry, cold weather and cold temperature down to -30 C. Košava usually blows in slopes during the five days and then it stops or continues blowing for five more days etc. Of course, this circular theory is not strictly precise, but it proved true unexpectedly many times.

On the official scales it belongs to the medium and strong wind categories. Košava appears only in parts of Bulgaria, Romania, and Serbia. It’s internationally defined as a wind specific to this part of the Balkan area. In Serbia, it’s often called “Belgrade wind” and there are even some songs and poems about it. The old Serbian saying states:

When košava blows, the Nišava freezes.

And Nisava is the river that flows through southern Serbian city Nis,and is supposed to be out of its reach.

Thank you, Danube

Like it’s not enough that the Danube’s responsible for transporting this wind to Serbia through the Djerdap Gorge (in the opposite direction of Danube’s flow) it also gives it the additional power. It starts in the Carpathian Mountains in Romania and follows the Danube Gorge to Djerdap National Park, where it enters Serbia, through the Iron Gates. It’s at this place that košava gains speed and continues to Belgrade.

Iron Gates  (Portile din Fier)
Iron Gates (Portile din Fier)
Iron Gates, Roumanie
Djerdap National Park
Djerdap National Park

Everything considered, if you are visiting Serbia during the fall and winter months, and really have to leave the house, make sure to dress warm. Forget about tamed hairstyles and bring some extra layers of clothes; if the košava blows, who knows if they’ll help you.


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The author

Milena Mihajlovic

Milena Mihajlovic

I am Milena, and enjoy traveling, hiking and everything coffee-related. Through my writing, I want to inspire fellow travelers about Serbia, my dear country.

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