Seamen’s Day in Iceland Date in the current year: June 2, 2024

Seamen’s Day in Iceland Seamen’s Day (Sjómannadagurinn), also known as Fishermen’s Day, is celebrated in Iceland every year on the first Sunday in June. It is dedicated to the people who make a big contribution to the country’s economy.

Historically, the economy of Iceland depended heavily on fishing. In the 1950s—1970s, Iceland even engaged in a series of confrontations with the UK regarding fishing rights in the North Atlantic, known as the Cod Wars. Although Iceland’s economy has become more diverse over the recent years, fishing still provides 40% of export earnings (compared to 90% in the 1960s) and employs 7% of the work force.

Seamen’s Day in Iceland was established in 1937 and was first celebrated on June 6, 1938. The holiday is dedicated to all fishermen and other people whose professional activities are somehow connected to the sea.

Seamen’s Day is usually celebrated on the first Sunday in June, but if the Christian holiday of Pentecost falls on the same day, Seamen’s Day is moved to the next Sunday. Back when the holiday was just created, it was marked with church services which fishermen attended before going out to sea. Today celebrations include a flag raising ceremony which was first held in 1987 and a sea festival with plenty of entertainment for attendees of all ages.

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