The life of shepherds and mountain women can be observed or participated in from the spring till the late fall.
Quite intentionally, the stay in the katun lasts between two religious holidays – Đurđevdan (St. George’s Day) and Mitrovdan (St. Demetrios Day). People go to the katuns of this region when it suits them, but it’s usually around Đurđevdan (May 6), and they return to their villages six months later – around Mitrovdan (November 8).
Those who have meadows in lower areas, descend earlier and continue their katun life there till the first snow. Others return at the beginning of September. It may happen sometimes, though rarely today, that some shepherds spend the winter at the katun, because it’s easier to feed the livestock there than to transport the hay to the village.
During the winter the cabins and sheepfolds fall into a deep slumber under the snow drifts. They are only visited by fierce mountain blizzards and wild animals. And some lonely mountaineers who cruise the vastness on their snowshoes.
In May and at the beginning of June, the mountain will show the gentle side of its soul. The crystal air, cleared by the long winter, the profusion of colours in the grass, the mirth of the awaken springs. During a single day, the weather can change several times, clouds and downpour come from nowhere and they are as quickly chased away by the sun.
In July and August the day is long, shepherds and mountain women work from dust till dawn. The ideal period for travelling and exploring. The katuns are warmest at the beginning of August, when they often host fairs and have the largest number of guests. But, you should never forget that no matter how hot the noon is, the night on the mountain can be very cold.
September and October will show the different face of this area. Following the summer serenity and enjoyment in forest fruits and working with animals, hanging out with friends, “the days of warm mysticism” come – the coloring becomes more mature, darker, the fog beams and rains tell some new stories. The fall in the katun is a special experience, in no way less exciting.