Worms, Dogs Receive Special Blessing on First Day of Summer Skip to content

Worms, Dogs Receive Special Blessing on First Day of Summer

The First Day of Summer was celebrated on Thursday with festivities of all sorts, not least a special blessing of animals at a church in the district of Grafarholt, Vísir reports.

Sumardargurinn fyrsti, or the First Day of Summer, is an annual public holiday that falls between April 19 and 25 every year. The weather was rather warm (for Iceland) in the capital area, with temperatures reaching 14.7°C [59°F]. This actually broke the previous record for warmest First Day of Summer: 13.5°C [56°F] in 1998.

While many were celebrating out-of-doors around the capital and throughout Iceland, parishioners of the Guðríðarkirkja church took the opportunity to take part in a long-standing holiday tradition at the church, namely the blessing of beloved pets and animals. Pastor Leif Ragnar Jónsson says this is an old tradition and one well-known abroad, with connections to Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of animals and nature.

The first animals to be blessed in the ceremony were eight worms, which were brought in by two girls named Anna and Karen. Dogs, cats, and parrots also received blessings.

 

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