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Happy National Day - Þjóðhátíðardagurinn

On the 17th of June, 1944, The Republic of Iceland was created. Flags will be waving in many locations and not just in Iceland! There are formal speeches and many informal events, too.

A wreath is laid at the foot of the Jón Sigurðsson statue in Reykjavík and in Winnipeg. Jón Sigurðsson - "Jón forseti" - is IR#I174907 in the Icelandic Roots Database where you can read more about him and his family.

Iceland’s independence was obtained by the hard work of many but is attributed mostly to the tireless work of "Jón forseti." He was born on 17 Jun 1811 and was instrumental in creating a great national awakening in Iceland. He became a national hero for his work on fighting for independence.


By a referendum held on 23 May 1944, a new constitution was adopted and Iceland became fully independent on 17 June 1944 - the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson.


While much more can be written about the Road to Independence and Jón Sigurðsson, here is a small tidbit about the honored tradition of the Fjallkona. A woman is chosen to take on the duty of wearing a traditional Icelandic National Costume and reading a poem during the June 17th festivities. This person is to personify the country of Iceland. The Fjallkona, or Woman (or Maid) of the Mountain, is chosen in Iceland and also in various locations across North America. In this video, you can hear the traditional Icelandic poem read by the 2020 Fjallkona (in Icelandic).

In the wood engraving below, she has a crown of ice on her head and fire is erupting from the ice. On her shoulder is the Icelandic raven. A seagull is flying over the sea. She is holding a rune-stave as a symbol of the land, literature, and history. Behind her are mountains, the moon, and a star-filled sky.

Wood engraving copied by Zwecker from his original watercolor, and published in Icelandic Legends (1866).


IR Members can go to the database and see photos, stories, relationships, and more of the many fjallkonan. The IR Database Media Team adds to these special projects frequently. We have a place to honor and remember these women from Washington, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, North Dakota, and Iceland.


From all the IR Volunteers, we send best wishes to everyone on this special day.


Gleðilega þjóðhátið kæru vinir! Happy National Independence Day dear friends!

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