Summer starts today
The old Norse calendar splits the year into just two seasons: winter and summer.
Summer starts at the beginning of the month of Harpa, which occurs on the first Thursday after 18th April on the modern calendar. For reference, winter will start again on the first day of Gormánuður, which is the first Saturday after the 21st October. This year that will be the 23rd October.
Sumardagurinn fyrsti is as much an emotional gear-change as it is a celebration of 'real' summer, as it is quite common for the day’s festivities to be buffeted by wind, rain, hail, and yes, even snow. In fact, it is considered a positive omen for a warm summer to come if water freezes on the last night of winter.
Winter and summer did not “freeze together” in most lowland areas this year, however, and today is forecast to be well above freezing. It is forecast to be a cloudy day with rain showers in some places.
The forecast for the weekend and to the end of Monday looks settled across the whole country, with temperatures above freezing and as high as 13°C in some spots. It is possible (though not guaranteed) that spring has finally sprung and that snow and ice are out of the picture until the autumn.
We shall have to wait and see, but in any event, RÚV English wishes you Gleðilegt sumar! (“Happy summer”, as people in Iceland will be saying often today).