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    June 16 2015

    Icelandic National Day is June 17

    National Day celebrations include family-oriented entertainment, concerts, outdoor games, a parade and much more.

    Since 1944, the National Day of Iceland has been celebrated annually on June 17th. The holiday commemorates when Iceland declared full independence from the Danish crown and formed the Republic of Iceland. 

    June 17th became the official day of the holiday because it is also the birthday of Jon Sigurdsson, a prominent leader in the Icelandic Independence Movement. Each year, Iceland celebrates on a bigger and better scale for the country's national holiday. This year  marks the 71st anniversary of Icelandic independence.

    Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, hosts Independence Day parades, dances, street theater, and many other events throughout the day. Of course the celebrations wouldn't be complete without the infamous Fjallkonan, the woman of the mountain, who wears the national costume and recites a poem to the crowd. She represents the spirit and nature of Iceland and is a symbol of Iceland's fight for independence. Following her are many other speeches, musical performances, and activities. After the formal celebrations are over, more informal parties are thrown in almost every town and village across the country. Fjallkonan, the woman of the mountain, who wears the national costume and recites a poem to the crowd. She represents the spirit and nature of Iceland and is a symbol of Iceland's fight for independence. Following her are many other speeches, musical performances, and activities. After the formal celebrations are over, more informal parties are thrown in almost every town and village across the country. 

    This year, John Kerry, the U.S. secretary of State congratulated Iceland on the anniversary of the founding of the Republic in an official statement. In his statement, he said:

    “On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the Icelandic people on the 71st anniversary of the founding of your Republic on the day that marks the birth of Jon Sigurdsson.

    I know this year you also celebrate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage – a proud testament to your country’s thriving, modern democracy.

    I am pleased that our two nations continue to work in partnership to promote open governance and human rights around the world. And as NATO Allies, we are each doing our part to defend freedom on both sides of the Atlantic and to prepare for threats both new and old.

    Your country is also a critical player in efforts to preserve the environment. In May, Foreign Minister Sveinsson and I met in Washington and reinforced our mutual commitment to the important work of the Arctic Council. Iceland's language, customs, history, and geographic beauty are deeply admired in the United States.”

    This year’s events will begin at 10 a.m. with the chiming of all church bells in Reykjavik, followed by the parade, an antique car show, free outdoor games, music, a sailing competition and much more! Click here to view the complete schedule of events.

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