Saturday, June 17, 2017


I don‘t think I‘ve ever written about Icelandic National Day, which is on June 17. It commemorates the foundation of the Republic of Iceland in 1944. Today it‘s raining sheep and ravens but that won‘t stop anyone from joining in the fun. A handful of people gather at the town square, Silfurtorg, to accompany the parade as it marches down the main street to the library. The parade is lead by flag bearers from the scouts, which holds a long tradition in Iceland. At the library, the brass band plays in the pouring rain and there‘s a choir too, accompanied by an electric keyboard as it‘s player huddles under a plastic tarp, trying to keep everything dry and avoid electrocution.  A poem is recited by the fjallkona, (Lady of the Mountain), dressed in the traditional costume (today with someone holding an umbrella over her head), who symbolizes the fierce spirit of the Icelandic nation and nature. 

After the formal celebration, the program for kids kicks off. The little rascals are all decked out in rain gear and rubber boots, yet they are still totally soaked after jumping in the bouncy castles which act as nice receptacles for the rain. There are pony rides and cotton candy, and hot dogs for the bigger folks. I have never eaten a hot dog in the pouring rain but it was a memorable experience. Unfortunately I missed the highlight when candy was tossed from an airplane, but there’s only so much cold and rain a person can stand when you’re over the age of ten.

Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures, which I deeply regret. Better luck next year!