Tvímánuður – Second to Last Summer Month in Iceland

Tvímánuður is the second to last summer month in Iceland, according to the Old Icelandic Calendar.

Þingvellir in the beginning of September.

Nordic and Northern European people used the Norse calendar until Christianity took over. However, Icelanders kept using their calendar version, especially the names of the months, until the 18th century. Icelanders still use a few month names, especially þorri, góa, and harpa. The first days of those months are the husband’s day, the woman’s day, and the first day of summer, respectively.

You can read all about the calendar here. Then we have posts about individual months:

Tvímánuður, or Two-month, is the eleventh month of the year and the fifth summer month according to the old Icelandic calendar. Tvímánuður always starts on a Tuesday between August 22-28. In Snorri’s Edda, it is called the kornskurðarmánuður or harvest month.

The name of the month is not entirely clear. Still, as einmánuður means the last winter month, people have said that it makes sense that tvímánuður thus means the second to last summer month, as it is the second to last summer month. The simple name of the month might indicate that not a lot happens in that month. It is at a transitional time, the actual summer jobs for farmers have just about ended, and now it is time to start thinking about slaughtering.

Culture Night

Culture Night always ends with a fireworks show. Photo: Finnur Malmquist

There isn’t much written about tvímánuður, but today Culture Night might be held at the beginning of the month in question. Culture Night is Reykjavik’s anniversary, but in 1786 it got municipal rights. The actual anniversary date is August 18th, but it was decided some years ago to celebrate it on the following Saturday. The festival is usually held on the last Saturday of August. August is generally regarded as the last summer month in Iceland today, but we, of course, have four seasons instead of just two like the old calendar has.

Other festivals held in September are the Reykjavik Film Festival and the Night of Lights in Reykjanesbær in the Reykjanes Peninsula. What we are generally most excited about, however, are the beautiful changing leaf colors and the beginning of the Northern Lights season. We highly recommend you visit Þingvellir National Park in tvímánuður to see the beautiful colors during the day and the evening.

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