One of the oddest traditions that Icelanders have is to look at the weather the night before the 24th of April—the first day of summer—to forecast the months ahead. It’s vital that summer’s eve is really cold and the ground freezes. If this happens, you see, it means that the whole summer will be, as they say, Gucci.
As a test, farmers would often put out a sea shell full of water out overnight on April 23rd to see if the water would freeze. If the summer and winter froze together, they believed, the fields would be late to bloom. Scientifically, for this to happen, they needed a cool and wet summer for the first half, and a dry one for the second. This might be good for farmers, but definitely not for office workers who use their four weeks of vacation in the early summer, as the author of this piece did.
But, of course, what do farmers really know about good weather? Farmers don’t see the relentless sun as positively as us city slickers. We just want to get some vitamin D in our blood and get a tan while we are it, goddammit.
This superstition is so strong in Iceland that all the media reports about it on the morning of the first day of summer. So it’s safe to say that this is more than a silly belief, it’s intertwined into the culture.
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