National Iceland Day

Group of people wearing warm winter clothing, exploring icy landscapes, traditional Icelandic fashion, with a backdrop of the Northern Lights..
National iceland day illustration

Welcome to our guide on National Iceland Day! Prepare to embark on a chilly adventure as we dive into the rich history and intriguing traditions of this frosty celebration.

When is Iceland Day?

It's national iceland day on the 17th June.

The Icy Origins of National Iceland Day

If you think Iceland is just a place where Game of Thrones scenes were filmed, think again! National Iceland Day, observed on June 17th, is a day dedicated to celebrating this enchanting Nordic country and all it has to offer.

The origins of National Iceland Day can be traced back to June 17th, 1944, when Iceland became an independent republic after centuries under Danish rule. This momentous occasion called for a day of jubilation and pride, giving birth to the annual celebration we know and love today.

Embracing the Icelandic Spirit

Now, you might be wondering how to properly celebrate National Iceland Day. Fear not, my friend – we've got you covered!

One way to honor this special day is by immersing yourself in Icelandic culture. Take this opportunity to try some authentic Icelandic cuisine. Have you ever had the pleasure of tasting hákarl, fermented shark meat? It's an acquired taste, to say the least!

For those more athletically inclined, you can channel your inner Viking and participate in traditional Icelandic sports. Ever played Kubb? It's like a mix of bowling and chess, but with a Nordic twist. It's sure to make your competitive spirit soar!

Did You Know?

Did you know that Iceland is home to the world's oldest working parliament? Established in 930 AD, the Alþingi, or the Icelandic Parliament, is still going strong after more than a thousand years. Talk about political staying power!

History behind the term 'Iceland'


Settlement by Vikings

In the year 865, Norse explorers from Norway, led by Ingolfur Arnarson, established a settlement on the island which they named 'Iceland' or 'Ísland' in Old Norse. These Vikings were escaping the political turmoil and power struggles in their homeland and sought a new land to call their own.


Icelandic Alþingi

In 930, the Alþingi, or the Icelandic Parliament, was founded in Thingvellir, making it one of the earliest parliamentary institutions in the world. The Alþingi played a crucial role in the establishment of a cohesive Icelandic society and the development of Icelandic legal traditions. It provided a platform for settling disputes, passing laws, and strengthening the political structure of Iceland.


Incorporation into Norwegian Kingdom

In 1262, Iceland was incorporated into the Kingdom of Norway, marking the beginning of a long period of Norwegian rule. This union lasted for centuries and had a profound influence on Icelandic society, culture, and governance. During this period, Iceland experienced changes in its economy, administration, and religious practices.


Union with Denmark

In 1380, the Union of Kalmar brought Iceland under the rule of the Danish Crown, forming the Kalmar Union between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. This union resulted in Danish control over Iceland, creating a new chapter in its history. Danish influence expanded in all aspects of Icelandic life, including language, education, and governance.


Icelandic Independence

In 1918, after several decades of increasing demands for self-rule and autonomy, Iceland was granted limited independence by Denmark. This arrangement established Iceland as a sovereign state and recognized the Icelandic nation's right to govern itself in internal affairs. However, Denmark retained control over foreign affairs and defense until full independence was achieved later.


Founding of the Republic

On June 17, 1944, Iceland formally declared itself a republic and severed its remaining ties with the Danish monarchy. The establishment of the Republic of Iceland marked the culmination of Iceland's struggle for full independence. It solidified Iceland's status as a sovereign nation, and its flag, known as the 'Íslenski fáninn,' became a symbol of national pride and identity.

21st century

Modern Icelandic Society

Today, Iceland is renowned for its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and progressive society. Despite its small population, Iceland has made significant contributions in various fields, including literature, music, renewable energy, and gender equality. The term 'Iceland' has become synonymous with natural wonders, geothermal energy, and a vibrant artistic and literary scene.

Did you know?

Did you know that Iceland is home to the world's oldest working parliament, established in 930 AD?


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First identified

17th June 2016

Most mentioned on

17th June 2016

Total mentions


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