Winter returns to Iceland

Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Björgvin Kolbeinsson - RÚV
Yesterday, it was summer. Today, it is winter. That is what the Icelandic calendar states. The weather, on the other hand, is warmer today than it has been recently.
Ísafjörður, Skutulsfjörður, Loftmynd. Dróni
 Mynd: Jóhannes Jónsson -

Iceland, of course, uses the Gregorian calendar for most things, along with most of the rest of the world—but the country also has its own calendar developed in the 10th century, which is still in partial use today. 

The Icelandic calendar is based on the old Germanic calendars and is made up of six winter months and six summer months. Spring and autumn simply do not exist.

Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: RÚV - Vilhjálmur Þór Guðmundsson

Winter starts on the first day of the month of Gormánuður, which on the modern calendar is always the Saturday at the end of the 26th week of summer. This year, that is today, the 23rd October. 

Summer starts on the first day of the month of Harpa, which on the modern calendar is always the first Thursday after the 18th April. Next year, that will be the 21st April.

Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Óðinn Svan Óðinsson - RÚV

Sumardagurinn fyrsti (the first day of summer) is a national public holiday in Iceland, while Fyrsti vetrardagurinn (the first day of winter) is not.  

To be fair, there are currently no weekend public holidays, but would this be one if winter started on a weekday? You decide. But probably not!

Myndir teknar á Ísafirði 10. desember 2019.
 Mynd: Jóhannes Jónsson - RÚV

In centuries past, winter was feared in Iceland as a time of cold, dark, and hunger. Summer meant life, while winter could sometimes mean death for the unlucky or ill-prepared. 

In the modern age, people have light, warmth, and plenty to eat, and this has made winter the favourite season of many people who enjoy the snow, the long and cosy nights, the northern lights, the hour-long sunsets, and plenty more. 

The forecast for the coming days may be relatively damp and warm, but we nevertheless wish you a cosy and enjoyable start to winter in Iceland.

Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Gunnar Jóhannesson - RÚV
23.10.2021 - 08:13