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Leif Erikson / Leifur Eiríksson Day

Updated: Jan 15, 2020

Each year on the 9th of October, we celebrate Leifur Eiríksson Day. This year, it is also Columbus Day. But remember ..... LEIF Landed FIRST!

Christian Krohg Painting

Leif was born at Eiríksstaðir in Iceland. His father, Eirík the Red, is another famous Viking. Eirík fled to Iceland from Norway after killing some of the King's men. Eirík also was outlawed in Iceland. He is credited with discovering Greenland. Eirík did not go with Leifur on the adventure to discover the New World. He had fallen off his horse on the way to the ship and thought this was a sign to not go.

Leif became a Christian during a visit to Norway. King Ólaf was converting people to Christianity at the time. October 9th was chosen for Leifur Eiríksson Day because 09 Oct 1825, the Emigrant Ship, ‘’Restauration’’ landed in New York from Norway starting the wave of emigration from Norway.

  1. Top left: Statue at Eiríksstaðir, the home of Eirík the Red and birthplace of Leifur Eiríksson

  2. Top right: Leifur Eiríksson in front of the beautiful Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík. In 1929, the U.S. Congress authorized a statue of Leifur Eiríksson to be given to the people of Iceland on the 1000th anniversary of the Alþingi. The statue was placed in Reykjavik on 03 May 1932

  3. Bottom left: Leifur Eiríksson statue at the Scandinavian Park in Minot, North Dakota

  4. Bottom middle: Leifur Eiríksson statue from Iceland that was at the 1939 World´s Fair. You can read more about this statue HERE.

  5. Bottom right: Leifur Eiríksson statue at the MN State Capital in St. Paul.

There are many other Leifur Eiríksson statues. Click this link to see MORE LEIF ERIKSON STATUES.

The Snorri West participants visited L´Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland where the latest statue has been erected. It is the 3rd replica of the statue in Seattle.

How are you related to Leifur and others from the sagas? Check out your family history! Want to learn more? Want to discover not just names and dates but the stories? Come to and click on 'Join Us.'

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