Icelandic National Day celebrations tomorrow will be more subdued than usual in order to adhere to the 300-person gathering limit in place across the country. The City of Reykjavík has encouraged residents to celebrate with their nearest and dearest but those who explore the city might stumble upon pop-up events including brass bands, circus performers, and DJs.
Icelanders celebrate National Day every June 17 – the date in 1944 when the Republic of Iceland was officially established and the country became independent from Danish rule. The date was chosen as it coincides with the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson (1811-1879), one of the leaders of Iceland’s independence movement. The day is usually celebrated with large public gatherings and parades, but festivities will be slightly less bombastic tomorrow due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Celebrations will begin at 11:00am with a government ceremony in Austurvöllur square. A concert featuring Icelandic musicians will take place in nearby Hljómskálagarður park between 2.00pm-6.00pm. In Akureyri, North Iceland, programming will begin at 1.00pm in Lystigarðurinn and continue with family-friendly events between 2.00pm and 4.00pm at the City Hall square (Ráðhústorg), followed by evening programming in the town centre until midnight. Most towns or municipalities have published their festival program on their website and Facebook page.
Information about City of Reykjavík programming for National Day is available online in English.