Each year on June 17, Iceland commemorates the foundation of the Republic of Iceland when it officially became an independent nation in 1944 after being under the control of the Crown of Denmark since 1380. Since 1971, the day has been a public holiday throughout the country!
June 17 was chosen as the commemoration because it honors the birthday of the Icelandic Independence Movement’s founding father, Jón Sigurðsson. Traditional celebrations take place in the capital, Reykjavík, where the city hosts Independence Day parades, dances, street theater, and many other events throughout the day.
Iceland’s traditional national costume will also be in the spotlight during the National Day celebrations at the Árbær Open Air Museum. Guests are encouraged to come dressed in their own national costumes for the occasion and those in costume will receive free entry to the celebrations. Fjallkonan – the Lady of the Mountain – will be formally decorated with traditional ‘Skautbúning’ regalia at 2:00pm GMT. Additionally, the event will have members of the Classic Car Club of Iceland arrive for a special exhibition of vintage cars. The Árbær Open Air Museum will also host a number of games and events for families and light refreshments will be available at Dillon’s Café.
You can keep an eye out for more details on Icelandic National Day events in Reykjavík on Visit Reykjavík’s website.
Let us know how you’re planning to celebrate Iceland’s National Day this year in the comments below!