Weather Predictions and Höfuðdagur


Today, 29 August, is the celebration called Höfuðdagur (Head Day).

This is the day John the Baptist was killed by decapitation. Icelanders keep an eye on the weather during this day as Old stories claim connections to weather patterns.

According to a past newsletter written by Hálfdan Helgason:

"The first written evidence of this tradition occurs in the mid-17th century. Bishop Þórður Þorláksson at Skálholt (1637-1697), noted on his almanac 15 August 1671: 'At the end of this month, Arcturus rises with the sun and causes changes in the weather.'

Modern meteorology confirms that as the sun sinks in the northern hemisphere, strong westerly winds in the upper atmosphere can affect weather patterns for some weeks.

For Icelandic seamen and farmers, Head Day was an occasion to hope for three weeks of sustained good weather, or to fear the opposite."

So, here is hoping that we have three good weeks of weather and that the recent volcanic activity settles down.



Icelandic Roots is a non-profit, educational, heritage organization specializing in genealogy, history & traditions of our Icelandic ancestors.

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