Pleasant Spring Ahead, Predicts Medieval Norse Superstition - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Pleasant Spring Ahead, Predicts Medieval Norse Superstition

Published March 24, 2015

Photo by
Alisa Kalyanova

If the wisdom of the Old Norse calendar is any indication, this upcoming spring should be fair and mild.

Before the Gregorian calendar landed on these fair shores, Icelanders abided the Norse calendar, based primarily on the solstices, equinoxes, and midway points between them. Yesterday, Iceland transitioned from one month to another in a way that promises better weather.

Vísir reports that yesterday, the Norse month of Góa came to an end, and Einmánuðurinn began. According to Nordic superstition, if the first day of Einmánuðurinn is wet, the rest of springtime will bring good weather. Given how awful and forboding to the point of infamy this past winter has been, news of the prediction will likely come as a relief to many readers.

The fun continues next month as well. In much the same vein as a wet first day of Einmánuðurinn meaning a fair spring, this April 23 – the so-called “First Day of Summer” – a cold snap will mean a summer of nice weather. This phenomenon is known as “winter and summer freezing together”.

Weather-predicting superstitions are common around the world, especially as one season ends and another begins. Much like the superstition regarding Einmánuðurinn, for example, English-speaking peoples have their own version, i.e., “April showers bring May flowers”.

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