Public Holidays in Iceland

Iceland, known as the "Land of Fire and Ice," is a nation of dramatic landscapes, rich history, and unique traditions. Its public holidays are deeply intertwined with the country's natural wonders and cultural heritage, offering both locals and visitors a chance to celebrate Iceland's exceptional character.

New Year's Day: A Fresh Start

New Year's Day in Iceland is a time of renewal and reflection. It's celebrated with fireworks that light up the sky, bonfires to ward off evil spirits, and gatherings with family and friends. The Icelandic tradition of "Áramót" involves watching the comedy show "Áramótaskaup," which humorously reflects on the past year's events.

Þorrablót: An Ancient Feast

Þorrablót is a traditional Icelandic midwinter festival held in January and February. It involves feasting on unusual Icelandic delicacies such as hákarl (fermented shark), svið (sheep's head), and lundabaggi (lamb's fat). These dishes connect Icelanders to their Viking ancestors and their enduring spirit.

First Day of Summer: Embracing the Seasons

The First Day of Summer, celebrated in April, marks the transition from the long, dark winter to the brighter, warmer days of spring. Parades, sporting events, and outdoor activities bring communities together to embrace the changing seasons.

Labour Day: Workers' Pride

Labour Day, on May 1st, is a global celebration of workers' rights. In Iceland, it's a public holiday where labor unions organize parades, rallies, and cultural events to honor the contributions of the workforce.

National Day: A Patriotic Affair

Iceland's National Day, held on June 17th, commemorates the founding of the Icelandic Republic in 1944. Festivities include parades, concerts, and traditional Icelandic dances. The day fosters a sense of national pride and unity.

Midsummer's Night: A Magical Evening

Iceland's Midsummer's Night, celebrated on the summer solstice in June, is a magical experience. With almost 24 hours of daylight, locals engage in bonfires, music, and dancing. It's a time when Icelanders connect with nature and celebrate the country's stunning landscapes.

Commerce Day: Honoring Trade and Commerce

Commerce Day, observed on the first Monday in August, pays tribute to Iceland's history of trade and commerce. It involves exhibitions, markets, and cultural events that highlight the nation's entrepreneurial spirit.

Independence Day: A Historical Milestone

Iceland's Independence Day on December 1st commemorates its sovereignty from Denmark in 1918. The day is marked with parades, flag ceremonies, and speeches. It's a time to reflect on Iceland's history and the importance of its independence.

Christmas and Easter: Traditional Christian Celebrations

Christmas and Easter in Iceland are celebrated with religious services, festive meals, and gatherings with loved ones. The country's unique Christmas folklore includes the "Yule Lads" and the "Christmas Cat," adding a touch of Icelandic magic to these holidays.

A Blend of Tradition and Nature

Iceland's public holidays offer a unique blend of cultural traditions and a deep connection to nature. Whether celebrating the changing seasons, honoring historical milestones, or indulging in traditional cuisine, these holidays showcase the Icelandic spirit of resilience and appreciation for the extraordinary world around them. Each holiday provides an opportunity for both Icelanders and visitors to immerse themselves in the country's rich heritage and stunning natural landscapes.

Upcoming Holidays (next six months)

Christmas Eve December 24 Sunday Public Holiday
Christmas Day December 25 Monday Public Holiday
Boxing Day December 26 Tuesday Public Holiday
New Year's Eve December 31 Sunday Public Holiday
New Year's Day January 01 Monday Public Holiday
Maundy Thursday March 28 Thursday Public Holiday
Good Friday March 29 Friday Public Holiday
Easter Sunday March 31 Sunday Public Holiday
Easter Monday April 01 Monday Public Holiday
First Day of Summer April 25 Thursday Public Holiday
May Day May 01 Wednesday Public Holiday
Ascension Day May 09 Thursday Public Holiday
Whit Sunday May 19 Sunday Public Holiday
Whit Monday May 20 Monday Public Holiday

Holidays by year

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