Iceland Mag

3 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

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Join the Icelandic Independence Day celebration Saturday June 17

By Staff

  • "The Lady of the Mountains" The highpoint of the official National Day ceremony is a poem recital by Fjallkonan, "The Lady of the Mountains", a young Icelandic woman dressid in the traditional Icelandic costume. Photo/City of Reykjavík.

On June 17 Icelanders celebrate the Icelandic Independence Day. The celebration in Reykjavík will take place all over the city centre between 10:00 and 18:00. The events and happenings include activities for kids and the whole family in Hljómskálagarður park between 13:00 and 17:30, and various activities and events all over the city center.

The Icelandic National Costume

National Costume
Women wearing the National Costume Photo/Reykjavík City

The celebration starts at 10:00 in the morning with the tolling of church bells at all of Reykjavík's churches, followed by a mass by the Bishop of Iceland at Reykjavík Cathedral in downtown Reykjavík. The high point of the official celebration follows at 11:15 with a public ceremony hosted by Parliament and the Prime Minister's office at Austurvöllur square in front of the house of parliament. 

At this ceremony the President of Iceland will lay a wreath at the Jón Sigurðsson monument, the leader of the 19th century movement for national independence. The Prime Minister will then address the nation, and Fjallkonan, the Lady of the Mountains recites a poem. Women in the Icelandic National Costume will participate in the event.

At 13:00-13:15 a National Costume "Fashion Show" will take place in Iðnó theatre, located opposite Reykjavík City Hall on the NE corner of lake Tjörnin.

National Day Parades and Viking re-enactors

Viking helmets, swords

Re-enactors will demonstrate Viking weapons and fighting techniques Photo/Reykjavík City

At 13:00 the National Day Parade leaves from Hagatorg square (in front of Radisson Blue Saga Hotel) west of City Center, and the corner of Laugavegur and Barónsstígur streets east of City Center. Led by riders on Icelandic horses and the Reykjavík Marching Band, the parades will meet in Hljómskálagarður park, where family- and kid-friendly events will continue until 17:30.

Bouncy castles, a scout obstacle course and Circus Iceland will entertain the kids, while the grown ups can check in with Viking re-enactors who will demonstrate Viking age weapons and clothing as well as Viking-style fighting techniques.

Iceland Strongest Man competition

Hafþór Júlíus, Strongman, 17 Júní

Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson will defend his title Iceland's Strongest Man Photo/Reykjavík City

One of the oldest and most prestigious strongman contests in the world will be held on the SW corner of Tjörnin lake at 13:30-16:00.

Fighting for the title of the Iceland's Strongest Man three of Iceland's most powerful strongmen will compete in a loading race, deadlift and overhead lift. Among the competitors is Hafþór Július Björnsson, better known as "The Mountain" from the Game of Thrones. 

Numerous concerts all over downtown
A number of free concerts and events will be held at music venues around downtown throughout the day, including concerts at Harpa Concert hall between 14:00 and 18:00. 

The last event of the day is a celebration of the music of Icelandic female musicians at Kex Hostel, between 20:00 and 23:00.

A full program of events can be found at the site of the site of the National Independence Day celebration.

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