Many of us might have wondered, what makes Iceland is one of the happiest places on Earth to live. According to Forbes magazine, Iceland is always rated on the top 10 of the most fortunate countries in the world. We think one of the factors that make them very happy is the privilege to the public holidays. An average person would have about 25 days off for summer vacation, weekends don’t include, and depending on how long he or she has been working for the company, the longer they work, the longer vacation it is. Does not it sound attractive to you?
We would like to show you an interesting fact about it, how many days an average person would have days off as following:
Total weekend days
Imagine it all of us have 145 days chilling, how awesome it is. Though, by saying that we don’t mean that Iceland is a lazy nation, the amazing thing is that the country can still maintain its development and prosperous pattern.
We are sure it already happened to so many tourists that come to Iceland during the Public Holidays, and experience that all the shops are closed or have limited opening hours. It could be a bit inconvenient if you need to get something done from the local offices. However, if you come to Iceland as a tourist, you should not worry so much about the Public Holidays at all, all the hotels are open, restaurants and shops are open as well, it just limits to a certain of service that they offer.
So, just for your information, we list it here all the Iceland Public Holidays of 2016. If you ever plan a trip to Iceland, it could help you to avoid unforeseen circumstances.
Iceland Public Holidays
1) January 01st. New Years Day
2) April 13th. Maundy Thursday, which is the Thursday before Easter Sunday
This day is also known as Holy Thursday or Good Thursday; Maundy holiday has been celebrated in several countries since the earliest days of the Christian Church. In Iceland, it has the name “Skírdagur“, and they believe it has the roots since the 12th century.
3) April 14th: Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday
We call it “Föstudagurinn Langi,” it means the last Friday before Easter. It is a Christian religious holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.
4) Easter 17th: Easter Monday
“Páska” is a festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. It has the same meaning as in the rest of Christian nations. Nowadays, it becomes a big day for “Páska Egg” consumption. Icelanders have the custom to buy a chocolate egg to give to your friends or relatives.
5) April 20th: First day of Summer
The official summer day in Iceland, it sounds amazing, right? No, even though it is considered the first summer day here, but the weather is still freezing. It would drop down to -1°C/ 30 Fahrenheit. So, don´t be fooled with this day, make sure you carry enough of warm clothes while traveling in Iceland.
6) May 1st: May Day
It is the public holiday almost everywhere in the world, where people celebrate the International Worker’s Day.
7) May 25th: Ascension Day. 40 days after Easter
“Uppstigningardagur,” it is also known as the Holy Thursday, commemorating the bodily Ascension of Jesus into heaven.
8) May 8th: Mother´s Day, it is the second Sunday in May, but not a public holiday, though.
It is simply a day we all honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, and the influence of mothers in society. It is the International Mother’s Day; it was first celebrated in the United States om 1907. Despite the fact that is a big day for all mothers in the worlds, it is not a free day yet in Iceland. However, young generations are used to do something nice to their mom, such as buying flowers.
9) June 5th: Pentecost
“Hvítasunnudagur,” it refers to the entire fifty days between Easter and Pentecost.
10) May 16th: Whit Monday, 7th Monday after Easter, it is also known as Pentecost Monday
“Annar í hvítasunnu” it is also a public holiday.
11) June 17th, the Independence Day, Iceland got independence from Denmark in 1944
The Icelandic National Day “Þjóðhátíðardagurinn”, the day we commemorate the foundation of the Republic of Iceland on 17th June 1944. The day the marked the independence from Danish rule. Today, we celebrate this holiday on a national scale, wherever you stay in Iceland, you will see a big celebration. In general, it takes the form of a parade through the town. If you happen to be here on that special day in Reykjavik, you will witness big crowds of people walking on the street and many activities coming along. It is a happy day for everybody.
12) August 7th, Commerce Day, it is also the first Monday in August
“Verslunarmannahelgi” it is one of the biggest travel weekends for Icelanders. It highlights with the big festival on the Westman Islands “Vestmanaeyja,” which we know as “þjóðhátíð í Vestmannaeyjum.” It could be a weekend that people consume the most of the alcohol. It will be many events around the country, and you can check one of them out. Note, if you plan on going to the Westman Islands during this weekend, make sure you will have a tent, foods, and ferry tickets. For further information, go ahead and check out this website Þjóðhátíð.
13) November 12th, the Father´s day, usually it happens on the second Sunday in November, it is not a Public Holiday
It is a similar day to the Mother’s day. Father´s day is celebrated worldwide to recognize the contribution of the father. It is not a public holiday.
14) December 24th, Christmas Eve, and everybody who works after 12:00 PM will get extra paid for that day.
I guess everybody should know about the day, the only one thing that you need to have in mind if you stay in Iceland during this period. Make sure you have enough of grocery, all the shops are closed on two days. Except for 10-11 the convenient stores, it possibly opens on December 26th.
15) December 25th, Christmas Day
16) December 26th, St Stephens Day
Note, anyone of you who want to come for the Christmas vacation; it would be very useful if you make reservations for dinner during this period a month in advance. There are very limited restaurants keep opening during this time, and it makes even harder if you book it on the arrival day.
So, what are you waiting for, start making your plan now?