Today is the first day of summer and that is a day off here in Iceland which is of course much appreciated. There are parades and other events to mark this joyous occasion.
In the past when Iceland was a dirt poor agrarian society (just like a century ago) it was a day to celebrate the fact that you survived yet another hellish winter. There are more eccentric holidays which have religious roots here in Iceland:
- Maundy Thursday is a day off.
- Good Friday is a day off. Back in the day this used the most dismal day of the year with nothing on TV or the Radio and every shop was closed.
- The second day of Easter is a really nice Monday off
- Day of Ascension is another Thursday off.
- Boxing Day is a day off.
In addition, the 1st of May (May Day) is a day off and New Years Day as well. New Years day used to be only second to Good Friday in terms of sheer boredom. 17th of June is the Icelandic national holiday which commemorates the birthday of the national hero Jón Sigurðsson and the founding of the Icelandic Republic in 1944.
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