In Iceland we are always waiting for summer. Sometimes, we wait for summer all “summer” long. Waiting for a quiet moment out on the balcony, the scent of barbecue wafting through the air. Waiting to get in the car and just drive with nothing but a tent, a sleeping bag and the desire for an adventure to guide us. Waiting to climb, run or bike up a mountain. Waiting to cast our rods. Waiting to spend time with nature.
On the first Thursday after 18th of April every year, the wait is over (even if the weather disagrees). That day Icelanders celebrate the first day of summer, which is the start of the first summer month (Harpa) of the old Icelandic calendar. There is an old tradition to give a sumargjöf (a summer gift) to celebrate this day. This marks the lengthening days and winter receding.
Even if it’s still snowing outside, in Icelanders’ minds the summer has arrived. Just make sure you keep warm!