On April 22, Iceland celebrates the ancient holiday of Sumarsdag or Siggblot, which means - the first day of summer. The fact is that in the old days in the Icelandic calendar there were no such things as spring and autumn, for 7 months lasted severe northern winter and for 5 months cool short summer. Moreover, since the chronology was accounted according to the winters, on the first day of summer is also the New Year. It is therefore natural that Sumarsdag was a long-awaited and very happy holiday. In the old days on this day were held ritual sacrifices in honor of the supreme god Odin, who was thanked for the fact that he again sent warmth to earth. Of course on this day was arranged a grand feast, the food for which was prepared long before the holiday. Huge rye bread, reaching five centimeters in thickness, all kinds of dishes from lamb and mutton, dried fish with butter, halibut fins and others. Also was cooked cereal porridge with such rare delicacies of the time, like raisins and honey. As a favorite drink was served coffee and brennivin (moonshine infused on cumin), and Icelanders, rejoicing the arrival of warm, wished each other "Gleðilegt sumar!", which means "Happy summer!"
In modern Iceland, of course there are no any sacrifices, but the tradition to celebrate the first day of summer preserved and turned into a bright and colorful annual festival. Now the first day of summer is one of 11 holidays with raising of the national flag, which puts it equal to the Independence Day and Easter. In all cities of the country on Siggblot are held all sorts of performances, organized holiday fairs and entertaining performances of folk ensembles that consistently attract thousands of tourists from all over the world.
It is worth noting that among the Slavs April 22 in the old days was also a special day, when a ceremony of unlocking the Earth, or Zarod was held. It was believed that on this day Yarila "unlock" (fertilize), Mother Earth and produces dew, from which begins rapid growth of grasses.