National holiday - Indipendence day June 17th
| Oddný Björg Halldórsdóttir
17th June is the Independence Day of Iceland. Independence Day is the major annual event in Iceland. Here Independence Day is celebrated by processions, dancing in the streets, in the parks and at the schools. On 17th June, 1944 Iceland gained full freedom from Denmark.
As it was the Birthday of Jón Sigurðsson 17th June was also chosen as the Independence Day of Iceland. The major figure of the culture of Iceland was Jón Sigurðsson. He was the leader of 19th century's Independent Movement in Iceland.
Iceland was under Danish rule for a significant period. As Denmark was occupied by German forces and Iceland was occupied by the British at that time, there was not much influence of Denmark over Iceland and so it became easy for Iceland to gain independence from Denmark. On receiving full independence the celebration took place all over Denmark. Jón Sigurdsson and Sveinn Bjornsson were showered with praises. The first President of independent Iceland was Sveinn Björnsson.
Today, the day is celebrated on a national scale almost similar to a carnival. The Icelanders celebrate their Independence Day through parades, lots of outdoor entertainment, dancing and competitions.