It was the best day of the year in Iceland! On June 17th, the nation celebrated its annual National Day on to mark the 73rd anniversary of its independence.
The holiday commemorates the establishment of the Republic of Iceland after being under Danish rule in 1944. The day of June 17th was chosen to honor the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson, the leader of Iceland’s independence movement.
Iceland National Day was celebrated all across the country, but this year’s program of events was hosted by Visit Reykjavik in the nation’s capital. The streets of Reykjavik were filled with live music, performances, food and drink booths, parades, a circus, and much more!
Following tradition, National Day began with a ceremony in Austurvöllur square featuring a wreath laying at the monument of Jón Sigurðsson by the President of Iceland, an address from the Prime Minister and recitation of a poem from Fjallkonan (The Lady of the Mountains). As always for National Day, attendees came dressed in traditional Icelandic attire
After the formal ceremony, family and friends participated in zumba and dancing classes, obstacle courses, and outdoor games. Attendees also put on their dancing shoes at City Hall and sneakers at Ingólfstorg Square for a skateboard party. Venues around Reykjavik hosted open shows, including a theater performance at the Iðnó and a star-studded concert at Hljómskálagarður Park. There was also a vintage car show held outside Harpa, followed by multiple musical performances inside the concert hall.
Although not everyone could be in Iceland for National Day this year, the holiday was still celebrated all around the world. Iceland enthusiasts showed off their love for all things Icelandic by toasting to the country with a glass of Reyka Vodka and Iceland’s signature drink, Brennivin, located at these stores across the U.S. To keep the festivities going and get a taste of Icelandic food, Icelandic Provisions, a brand of traditional Icelandic skyr, now available in these U.S. locations. Or grab your friends and catch your favorite Icelandic bands and musicians touring around the U.S. and Canada at these venues in 2017
Did you celebrate Iceland National Day this year? Let us know by tweeting us @IcelandNatural!