Not only is it Maundy Thursday, it is also the first day of summer in Iceland. Both are celebrated as public holidays each year — meaning that this year has one fewer holiday, as they both fall on the same day.
Sumardagurinn Fyrsti is what Icelanders call the first Thursday after the 18th April each year; and that means today is the first day of summer. Snow be damned!
Spring in Iceland has done its all-too-usual trick this year of appearing in early to mid April and then running and hiding again towards the end of the month as “summer” approaches. Indeed, most of Iceland has been under a new blanket of snow this week. However, that is a good thing if you are superstitious: because for summer and winter to “freeze together” (i.e. for the temperature to drop below freezing the night before summer) is considered an excellent omen for a good summer.
In this writer’s experience, although spring is usually nowhere to be seen on the first day of summer, it does tend to take hold in a sudden, almost frenzied spurt of green shoots and flowers over the next one-to-three weeks. Then there’s no looking back…
According to Norse tradition, the summer will end on the First Winter Day: the Saturday at the end of the 26th week of summer – the 22nd October this year.
IceNews staff wish all our readers a happy summer: Gleðilegt Sumar!