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First Day of Summer Celebrated in Iceland

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First Day of Summer Celebrated in Iceland

Reykjavík

Summer in Reykjavík. Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Today is the first day of Harpa, the first summer month of the old Icelandic calendar, which is also officially the first day of summer, or Sumardagurinn fyrsti. The holiday always falls on the first Thursday after April 18 and has been a bank holiday since 1921. Sumardagurinn fyrsti is one of 11 official flag days in Iceland.

According to the science website of the University of Iceland, the first day of summer was also considered the first day of the year, which is why people used to count their ages, and their animals’ ages, in winters rather than years.

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