First Day Of Summer

In Iceland, the First Day of Summer is a particularly festive time. Celebrated on the first Thursday after the 18th of April, this day marks the beginning of the summer month on the old Icelandic calendar.

Although the day is unlikely to be very summer-like when it’s observed, that’s okay because it signifies the start of longer days. This transition marks the end of the harsh winter and a move towards more favorable weather conditions.

It’s celebrated with organized entertainment that can include marching bands, parades, and other events.

The History Of The First Day Of Summer In Iceland

Known as Sumardagurinn fyrsti, this day harks back to the old Icelandic calendar. This calendar was divided into two halves: six months of nightless days (also known as Nattleysi or summer) and six months of short days (skammdegi or winter).

The first day of the summer half is the first day of the month Harpa. According to tradition, cold weather on this day is considered quite lucky. Yes, that seems odd for a celebration of the first day of summer, but it is Iceland after all.

Interesting Facts About Iceland

Below are some interesting facts about Iceland that we feel will give people a better understanding of this country and its culture. With that said, let’s take a look at the following facts and enjoy them as the First Day of Summer in Iceland approaches.

  • Iceland was first discovered by Vikings approximately 1,100 years ago.
  • Approximately a third of Icelanders will not deny the existence of elves.
  • The Icelandic language has over 100 different words to describe the wind.
  • During Jolabokaflod, or Christmas Book Flood, Icelanders love to give each other books.
  • Iceland is the only country where 100% of the electricity comes from renewable resources.
  • Approximately 73% of their electricity comes from hydropower, and the rest comes from geothermal power.
  • From 1924 to 1984, dogs were banned in the city of Reykjavik.
  • Iceland is the smallest nation to have qualified for the World Cup.
  • According to statistics, Iceland is the third happiest country in the world, behind Norway and Finland.
  • The population of Iceland is under 377,000 people as of 2022.

Observing The First Day Of Summer In Iceland

This day is observed with a variety of different events. There are parades, candy floss, and festivals. Many businesses are closed or have shortened hours on this day, and some people take the day off. On social media, the hashtags #SumardagurinnFyrsti or #FirstDayOfSummer can be used to spread the word about this auspicious occasion.

Where is it celebrated?
Iceland (National holiday)
When is it?
This year (2024)
April 25 Thursday
Next year (2025)
April 24 Thursday
Last year (2023)
April 20 Thursday