The midsummer month Sólmánuður, or Sun Month, began, as the name would suggest, during midsummer.

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.

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:

The Sun Month

Sólmánuður, or Sun Month, was the third month of summer. It started on a Monday between June 18 and 24. In Snorri’s Edda, it is called Seal Month.

In 1780 a book called Atli was published by Referend Björn Halldórsson. The full name of the book was “Atli, a young man’s advice about his equipment. Mainly about land and livestock farming methods and profits with the answers of an old farmer.” You got to love 18th-century book titles. The book was intended to guide farmers on proper conduct regarding farming matters.

Soon after its publication, the Danish king had the book distributed free of charge to Icelandic farmers. It was done to increase the education of the people. Therefore the king wanted to increase the productivity of Icelandic farmers. This brought much happiness; therefore, the work was considered educational and the greatest entertainment. Consequently, it was common until the 19th century to read from it during evening vigils for recreation. Almost all of the writing is conversational, as older textbooks often were. There, the ignorant Atli and a person who is only a titled farmer talk. Atli is taking his first steps in farming, and the experienced farmer teaches him how to run a good farm.

What should farmers do in sólmánuður?

One of the conversations in it is about the old months. There it says: sólmánuður is at a time when the sun moves around the sign of Cancer. It starts at the summer solstice, which is also the time when people can start picking mountain grasses. It’s the beginning of the season when people can gather healing herbs and lambs are castrated. The meadows people want to cut twice over the summer must be mowed now (the 10th week of summer).

If farmers want to deforest an area, it must be done in sólmánuður because it won’t grow back. It is also the best month to cut down angelica.

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