When is Icelandic Independence Day?
How long until Independence Day?
|This holiday next takes place in 56 Days.|
Dates of Independence Day
|Also called Icelandic National Day, 17 June marks Iceland's move to complete independence from Denmark|
This public holiday in Iceland is always celebrated on 17 June.
Also called Icelandic National Day, 17 June marks Iceland's move to complete independence from Denmark.
History of Icelandic Independence Day
Iceland was proclaimed an independent republic on 17 June 1944.
Iceland actually gained independence from Denmark much earlier, on 1 December 1918 with the signing of the Act of Union with Denmark. The Act recognised Iceland as an independent state under the Danish crown.
The formation of the republic in 1944 was based on a clause in the 1918 Act which allowed for a change to the relationship between Iceland and Denmark in 1943.
Due to the German occupation of Denmark in 1943, a vote on the revision to the Act was delayed until after the Second World War finished.
The referendum was held in at the end of May 1944. Voters were asked whether the Union with Denmark should be abolished and whether to adopt a new republican constitution. Both measures were approved with more than 98% in favour and a voter turnout of 98.4%.
Although he would have preferred a different outcome in the referendum, King Christian X of Denmark sent a letter on 17 June 1944 congratulating Icelanders on forming their Republic.
The 17 June date was already a significant date in Iceland's history as it is the birthday of Jón Sigurdsson who was the leader of the 19th century Icelandic independence movement which led to the 1918 Act of Union.
17 June, was therefore chosen as Iceland's National Holiday as afitting date to mark the Independence from Denmark, the proclamation of the Icelandic republic and to recognise Jón Sigurdsson's efforts toward Icelandic independence.
How is Icelandic Independence Day celebrated?
Icelanders take to the streets to celebrate independence. Colourful ceremonies are followed by parades, street theatre, sideshows and outdoor dancing in the midnight sun all over Iceland.
Did you know?
Beer was illegal in Iceland until 1989. Beer was banned under prohibition from 1915 and was only allowed again on 1 March 1989 - since celebrated as Beer Day.
Iceland is the most sparsely populated nation in Europe, with less than three inhabitants per square kilometer. 80% of the country remains uninhabited.
Iceland was the last land in Europe to be settled and populated. It is the youngest country in the world in terms of land form.
Icelanders watch more movies at the cinema than any other country. Icelanders watch an average of five films each per year. That is double the Western European average.
The English word "geyser" comes from the name of the great geyser, Geysir in Haukadalur, South Iceland. Today Geysir doesn’t erupt very often, but nearby Strokkur erupts every eight to ten minutes.