Today Is National Day of Iceland
Today is the National Day of Iceland, celebrated to commemorate the foundation of the Republic of Iceland on June 17, 1944.
Jón Sigurðsson (1811-1879), the leader of Iceland’s independence movement in the 19 th century was born June 17, and it was in his honor that this day was chosen to be country’s National Day.
Current restrictions on public gatherings, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unavoidably affect the scope of festivities. Since Tuesday, a maximum of 300 people are allowed to gather in Iceland – up from 150. A year ago, festivities were limited as well for the same reason.
The public is encouraged to celebrate the national holiday with friends and family, and to decorate their homes and yards with the Icelandic flag, or the colors of the flag, Morgunblaðið reports.
In Reykjavík, however, some entertainment is planned in Klambratún park, as well as in Hljómskálagarður park, in addition to numerous pop-up events downtown.
The fjallkona is always dressed in this type of national costume, called skautbúningur. mbl.is/Kristinn Magnússon
Traditional National Day celebrations will be broadcast live on RÚV, the national broadcasting station, starting at 11:10 am. These include an address by Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, as well an address by the so-called ‘Lady of the Mountains,’ or fjallkonan - most often a well-known actress, dressed in the national costume and symbolizing Iceland. She will recite a poem, written especially for the occasion. Thereafter, junior college graduates will lay a wreath on the graves of independence hero Jón Sigurðsson and his wife Ingibjörg Einarsdóttir in Hólavallakirkjugarður cemetery.
Many towns in Iceland will limit their festivities as well, due to disease prevention measure. In Kópavogur and on the Reykjanes peninsula, neighborhood festivities are planned; in Hafnarfjörður, a limited number of people will be admitted to events, and in Seltjarnarnes, residents are encouraged to celebrate with friends and family.
Iceland Monitor wishes you a happy National Day!