Independence Day in Iceland in 2019

  How long until Independence Day?
This holiday next takes place in 2 days.
  Dates of Independence Day in Iceland
2021Iceland Thu, Jun 17National Holiday
2020Iceland Wed, Jun 17National Holiday
2019Iceland Mon, Jun 17National Holiday
2018Iceland Sun, Jun 17National Holiday
2017Iceland Sat, Jun 17National Holiday
Also called Icelandic National Day, June 17th marks Iceland's move to complete independence from Denmark
  Local name

When is Icelandic Independence Day?

This holiday is always celebrated on June 17th.

Also called Icelandic National Day or simply 'the seventeenth of June', the day marks Iceland's move to complete independence from Denmark.

History of Icelandic Independence Day

Iceland was proclaimed an independent republic on June 17th 1944.

Iceland actually gained independence from Denmark much earlier, on December 1st 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 June 17th 1944 congratulating Icelanders on forming their Republic.

The June 17th 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.

June 17th, was therefore chosen as Iceland's National Holiday as fitting date to mark the Independence from Denmark, the proclamation of the Icelandic republic and to recognize 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?

Three facts about Independence Day

Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, is the northernmost national capital in the world. Approximately 60 percent of the country’s population lives in Reykjavik.

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.

There is no railway system of any sort in Iceland.

More facts about Independence Day

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