Weekend: Icelanders celebrate Sailor's Day on Sunday
This Sunday is Sjómannadagurinn, meaning ‘sailors’ day’ or ‘seamen’s day’. It is Iceland’s day to honour especially all those who are involved in the country’s fisheries, particularly those working at sea.
Sjómannadagurinn is celebrated on the first Sunday of June all over the country, with the biggest festivals often held in towns where fisheries are the main source of employment. Although Sjómannadagurinn is officially on a Sunday, many places begin festivities on the Saturday, such as in Reykjavik where the Festival of the Sea takes place.
Festival of the Sea is an extension of Sailor’s Day. The festival celebrations take place on both the Saturday and Sunday, with the events on the Saturday being referred to as Harbour Day. The festival reflects traditional Icelandic culture and the nation’s long-standing dependence on fishing. The festival celebrates all aspects of the sea, such as seamanship, vessels, fish, mermaids, sea shanties, and so on. Fishermen’s Day has been celebrated since 1938 and was originally established to promote solidarity among fishermen; it became a legal holiday for Icelandic fishermen in 1987. Festival of the Sea is celebrated all across the country, with sea-related entertainment for the whole family by the harbour. Guests can enjoy sailing, sea swimming, various entertainments and a large variety of sea creatures on display in tubs.
For a programme of events in English see HERE.