The Universe and Me

Friday, April 22, 2005

Winter, spring, summer or fall

Yesterday morning while listening to Radio 2 via the Internet, I noticed they were playing only songs by Icelandic artists. So I thought, is this some holiday over there? And I looked at my calendar hanging on the wall across the room. There wasn’t anything written in yesterday’s square, which wasn’t a surprise because it’s not an Icelandic calendar, but that was when my memory kicked in and I thought, don’t they celebrate the first day of summer right about now? Sure enough, they do. It’s called “Sumardagurinn Fyrsti” and always falls on the Thursday between April 19 and 25. Its earliness has something to do with the old Icelandic calendar which only distinguished between summer and winter. Summer marked the beginning of the growing season; winter, the end. These days there’s lots of flag waving and parades and generally being too cold outdoors in 40 degree weather. This year they also celebrated "Traveller's Day", trying to encourage Icelanders to view the place like a tourist and climb the Post Office walls, as any tourist would.


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