Spring in Iceland is probably not what you’re used to. In other countries, April is the month of spring, milder weather and budding flowers. April in Reykjavík is the month of tantalising hope that spring, milder weather, and budding flowers are just around the corner. While other nations have started pulling out their summer jackets and garden furniture by now, Icelandic weather is most accurately described with the word “unpredictable”.
It’s going to be cold for a few weeks yet and unexpected snow storms (or just regular ol’ storms) are to be expected. Still, after suffering a longer and darker winter than most other nations are used to, come April, most Icelanders have started to feel almost giddy at the thought of the imminent summer. That brings us to the specifically Icelandic, highly comical, yet somehow endearing holiday; The First Day of Summer. Let it just suffice to say that last year, the temperature on ìThe First Day of Summerî was 0,6°C, very slightly above freezing.
Starved for spring, let alone summer, Icelanders start treating every glimmer of hope that warmer weather is around the corner like the real thing. Every time the temperature climbs above 7°C, Icelanders don shorts and sandals and park themselves on cafè terraces, teeth chattering on their cups of iced coffee. Every single ray of sunshine that manages to hit one of the locals’ deathly pale skin is greeted with manic gratitude and plans for winter clothing bonfires. Last but not least, every year, Icelanders plan a First Day of Summer outdoor parade, complete with brass bands.
Welcome to Iceland, where spring is not a season, it’s a state of mind.