In Iceland, commerce is understandably a crucial national activity, given the island’s isolation from the rest of the world. And Icelanders make the value they place on commerce known by celebrating Commerce Day as a public holiday every first Monday of August.
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Commerce Day is basically a day-off for the Iceland Stock Exchange, and it is a day to celebrate and showcase your trade and its products or services. The practice of having a commerce day began in Reykjavik in 1894, based on influences from Denmark. The current date, however, was set only in 1931.
Commerce Day also has a history behind it in which “lower tradesmen” managed to rise up and throw off perceived oppression being inflicted on them by the “upper classes”. And so, there is a similarity here to Labour Day or International Workers Day. Plus, celebrations include remembering and honouring these “economic freedom fighters” of the past.