Yesterday was the Icelandic holiday known as “the First Day of Summer”, and one of the more common folk beliefs about this holiday might not be as old as suspected.
According to the superstition, if the temperature drops below freezing on the night before the First Day of Summer – or, as the locals say, “when winter and summer freeze together” – this means that the summer to come will be warm and mild. While this is often taken to be an old superstition, RÚV reports, it might not be as old as was thought – although another version is.
Jóna Steinunn Sveinsdóttir, who has lived in the rural community of Rangárþingi ytra her whole life, told reporters that she isn’t familiar with winter and summer “freezing together” indicating a nice summer ahead.
However, “this used to mean that you would have a plentiful use of your livestock, whether this was sheep or cows or crops for harvest. I got that from my grandfather, who was born in 1888, and other good people who I grew up with.” By this she means that whether you’re talking about wool, or meat, or crops, winter and summer freezing together meant a bumper crop in the olden days in Iceland.
Comparable to how nice the weather was on the last day of winter, Jóna does not predict that the milk from her cows will be very great. That is, if you follow the old superstition.
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