First day of summer (Iceland)

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First day of summer
Sumardagurinn fyrsti.jpg
First Day of Summer celebrations in Kopavogur
Official namesumardagurinn fyrsti
Observed byIceland
Datefirst Thursday after 18 April
2020 date23 April
2021 date22 April
2022 date21 April
2023 date20 April

The first day of summer (sumardagurinn fyrsti [ˈsʏːmarˌtaːɣʏrɪn ˈfɪ(r̥)stɪ]) is an annual public holiday in Iceland that is celebrated on the first Thursday after 18 April (some time between 19–25 April).[1]

It is a celebration of the start of the first summer month (Harpa) of the old Icelandic calendar. The old calendar had six months of short days (winter) and six months of nightless days (summer), so even though the climate of late April in Iceland is not very summer-like (on fourteen occasions between 1949 and 2015 the average temperature in the capital, Reykjavík, has been below freezing),[2] the day marks the lengthening of the days[1] and the harsh winter being over.

Parades and organized entertainment are held in various places around Iceland on the first day of summer.[3][4]

According to folk belief, a good summer would be sure to ensue if the temperature dropped below freezing right before the first day of summer. People would place a bowl of water outside for the night and hope that it would freeze.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Hvenær er sumardagurinn fyrsti og er hann vel valinn sem upphaf sumarsins?" [When is the first day of summer and was it a good choice for the beginning of summer?]. Vísindavefurinn (in Icelandic). Retrieved 25 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Sumardagurinn fyrsti 1949–2015". Icelandic Meteorological Office (in Icelandic). Retrieved 6 February 2021.
  3. ^ "Sumardeginum fyrsta fagnað". Morgunblaðið (in Icelandic). 29 April 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019. Festivities will be held in many locations today, the first day of summer. Parades are a part of the program like usually.
  4. ^ "Sumardagurinn fyrsti um alla borg". Website of the Municipality of Reykjavík (in Icelandic). 20 April 2016. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  5. ^ Árni Björnsson (1977). Saga daganna (2 ed.). p. 50.