Lonely Planet Writer

Midnight party in Reykjavik

What: Icelandic National Day
Where: Reykjavik
When: 17th June 2011

Ash clouds permitting, get yourself over to Reykjavik for the Icelandic National Day celebrations on 17 June.

Photo Credit: Andreas Tille

In 1944, Iceland gained independence from Denmark and the country chose this date of celebration to coincide with the birthday of Jón Sigurðsson, leader of the independence movement in Iceland.

Festivities kick off with a brass band parade through the city centre, and the party continues with street theatre, concerts and the release of many balloons into the sky.

Lucky, then, that this time of year sees Icelandic daylight hours stretch until around midnight.

Get Lonely Planet's Iceland travel guide