Public holidays in Iceland

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Public holidays in Iceland are established by the act of the Icelandic parliament.[1] The public holidays are the religious holidays of the Church of Iceland and the First Day of Summer, May Day, the Icelandic National Day. In addition, Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are holidays from 1PM.[1]

There are also twelve official flag days in Iceland, some of which are not public holidays. On a flag day all government buildings fly the flag. Although citizens are not obliged to do it, most people do, if they have a flagpole.

Public holidays[edit]

Date English name Local name Comment
1 January New Year's Day Nýársdagur Flag day
Moveable Maundy Thursday Skírdagur Literal meaning: Christening day
Moveable Good Friday Föstudagurinn langi Flag day (flown at half-mast)

Literal meaning: Long Friday.

Moveable Easter Sunday Páskadagur Flag day
Moveable Easter Monday Annar í páskum Literal meaning: Second day of Easter
Moveable First Day of Summer Sumardagurinn fyrsti Flag day

Thursday between 19 and 25 April

1 May May Day Verkalýðsdagurinn Flag day

Literal meaning: Labour Day

Moveable Ascension Day Uppstigningardagur
Moveable Whit Sunday Hvítasunnudagur Flag day
Moveable Whit Monday Annar í hvítasunnu Literal meaning: Second in White Sunday
17 June Icelandic National Day Þjóðhátíðardagurinn Flag day

Commemorates the foundation of the republic. Typically referred to as "17. júní".

Moveable Commerce Day Frídagur verslunarmanna First Monday in August. The long weekend is usually the largest domestic travel weekend
24 December Christmas Eve Aðfangadagur Holiday from 13:00
25 December Christmas Day Jóladagur Flag day
26 December Boxing Day Annar í jólum Literal meaning: Second day of Christmas
31 December New Year's Eve Gamlársdagur Literal meaning: Old Year's Day.

Holiday from 13:00

Other days that are celebrated[edit]

In addition to the public holidays, other special days are celebrated in Iceland, some of which are official flagdays as well.

Date English name Local name Literal meaning Remarks
January 6 Epiphany Þrettándinn The Thirteenth
Moveable Husband's Day Bóndadagur Friday between 19 and 25 January
Moveable Woman's Day Konudagur Sunday between 18 and 24 February
March 1 Beer Day Bjórdagurinn Celebrates the legalization of beer in Iceland, March 1, 1989.
Moveable Shrove Monday Bolludagur Bun Day
Moveable Shrove Tuesday Sprengidagur Bursting Day
Moveable Ash Wednesday Öskudagur Ash Day
Moveable Palm Sunday Pálmasunnudagur
Moveable Mother's Day Mæðradagurinn Second Sunday in May
Moveable Fisherman's Day Sjómannadagurinn First Sunday in June.

Flag day

June 19 Women's Rights Day Kvenréttindadagurinn
June 24 St John's Mass Day Jónsmessa John's Mass St John the Baptist's Mass Day, also known as Midsummer Night
Moveable First Day of Winter Fyrsti vetrardagur
November 16 Icelandic Language Day Dagur íslenskrar tungu Flag day
December 1 Sovereignty Day Fullveldisdagurinn Independence Day

Flag day

December 23 St. Thorlac's Mass Day Þorláksmessa St Thorlac is Patron Saint of Iceland


  1. ^ a b "88/1971: Lög um 40 stunda vinnuviku". Alþingi. Retrieved 1 June 2016.