When is Commerce Day?
Commerce Day is a public holiday in Iceland and is always celebrated on the first Monday in August.
This holiday may also be called Tradesmen's Day or the Holiday of the Merchants.
In Icelandic it is called Fridagur verslunarmanna.
This holiday was first observed Thursday 13 September 1894. The date is known as it was agreed on at a meeting of unions and managers from the larger shops in Reykjavík. The idea to give commercial workers a day off in the summer came from Denmark, but has been lost as a modern tradition there.
Having the same days off for industrial workers was a more common tradition in Europe as manufacturers may depend on several suppliers for parts, so it made sense that everyone was off at the same time.
For shop workers and tradesmen, this shared holiday wasn't as necessary, so Commerce Day is a considerate holiday for those who work hard to serve us all year round.
As a long weekend in the summer it proved a popular holiday and over the coming years the day shifted around between September and August before the first Monday in August was choosen as the date in 1931.
These days, the long weekend on Commerce Day is a popular time for festivals and celebrations across Iceland.