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Iceland Welcomes the First Day of Summer

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Iceland Welcomes the First Day of Summer

Reykjavík

Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

Icelanders celebrated the first day of summer on Thursday, RÚV reports. And while it was, perhaps, not a particularly balmy day by many people’s standards, locals could at least be happy that the weather was reasonably dry and temperate: “We won’t break any heat records, but fortunately, no record lows, either!” as the Icelandic Met Office optimistically posted on Facebook.

The first day of summer (Sumardagurinn fyrsti)—according to the old Norse calendar—is a public holiday in Iceland. It occurs on the first Thursday after April 18 every year. According to tradition, if people wake up on the first day of summer and find water left outside has frozen overnight, then summer and winter are considered to have “frozen together.” Folklore says this means the summer will be a good one.

This year, temperatures ranged from 6° - 13°C [42.3° - 55.4° F] around the country. The lowest recorded temperature on the first day of summer was -18,2° C [-.76° F] in the Westfjords in 1988; the highest was 19.8° C [67.6° F] in Akureyri in 1976.

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