This spring was cold and the summer begins with a dash of cold breeze from the Arctic. For people living in the northern hemisphere the spring and summer are important. It is the time of relief from cold, snow and fierce winds. If the spring is short then the window of warmth and sunshine gets smaller. However, we can not only measure the experience of spring and summer by the number of degrees and hours of sunshine, but in the quality of the hours, we spend and share with others during spring and summer.
The weather is important for Icelanders. We often talk about the weather when we meet each other in our daily lives. We have the weather tightly integrated into our language where we have multitudes of words expressing winds, rain, snow and the summer breeze. But why is the weather so important to Icelanders?
Fishing and agriculture has been the livelihood of Icelanders since the settlement of Iceland in 874. Therefore, it became a science by the Icelanders to study the weather to help them decide when to go fishing or when to dry the fish products and the hay for storage during winter. Being able to read correctly into the limited weather signs was a matter of life and death for the fishermen. Therefore, the smallest change in weather resulted in new words and expressions that then were passed from one generation to the next.
Nowadays Icelanders rely less on the weather to survive. Their fishing boats are stuffed with the latest technology and have access to accurate weather forecasts and emergency services. New technologies in agriculture makes it possible to store hay without being dried and food being processed without storing it in sour liquid, salt or by drying it.
However, a warm and bright spring and summer is what we prefer. It makes traveling much easier and it keeps the mood higher and our smiles wider. Celebrations such as the annual Sailor's Day become much more fun when the sun is shining.
Posted on: Jun 05 2011 in The Environment