First Day of Summer - Sumardagurinn fyrsti
Happy summer! Today is officially the first day of summer in Iceland (first Thursday after 18th of April). This is a national holiday in Iceland and is a day for adults to clean up the neighborhood, the scouts to parade and children to get face painted. Kids also often receive a first day of summer gift, a ball or some other outdoor summery toy.
Last night’s weather also indicates that this will be a good summer. Folklore generally says that if “sumar og vetur frjósa saman” or “summer and winter freeze together”, then it will be a good summer. This means that there is frost, the night before summer. The thickness of the ice on lakes is also an indicator to how thick the cream layer will be on fresh milk that year.
Even though this is officially the first day of summer, many consider it somewhat sarcastic as there typically is little sign of summer yet. But the day stems from the old Norse calendar which only had two seasons, summer and winter.