Leif Erikson Day in the United States
Leif Erikson Day honors a viking explorer known as Leif Erikson. He is believed to be the first recorded Nordic person to have visited North America. It is believed that he visited places such as Baffin Island and Labrador around 1000 CE.
What Do People Do?The president of the United States issues a proclamation about the holiday. Many US presidents have, in the past, publicly praised the spirit of exploration and discovery, as well the contributions of people with a Nordic background and their culture.
Leif Erikson Day is and observance and not a federal public holiday in the United States. Public transit systems run on their regular schedules.
Leif Erikson was born of Norwegian descent around 970 CE in Iceland. It is thought that his father and grandfather were outlaws and explorers around Scandinavia and Greenland. His father founded two settlements in Greenland. Leif had two brothers and one sister. He married a woman named Thorgunna and they had one son, called Thorkell Leifsson.
Leif Erikson went to Norway to work for King Olaf I of Norway. During his stay, he converted to Christianity. When he returned to Island, he bought a boat and, in 1003, set out to explore the land west of Greenland that had been discovered by Bjarni Herjolfsson, and older explorer. The land that he had discovered was actually Newfoundland, which is now part of Canada. The 'Saga of the Greenlanders' tells of his adventures.
It is thought that he visited Baffin Island and Labrador and settled on the Northern part of the island of Newfoundland, now all part of Canada. There are speculations that Leif Erikson or later explorers may have traveled into the area that is now Minnesota in the United States. Some controversial archaeological finds, such as the Kensington Runestone and the Maine Penny, support this theory, but it is not considered proven.
October 9 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the day that the ship Restauration arrived in New York from Stavanger, Norway on October 9, 1825. This was the start of organized immigration from Scandinavia to the USA. The date is not associated with an event in Leif Erikson's life.
Leif Erikson Day Observances
|Weekday||Date||Year||Name||Holiday Type||Where It is Observed|
|Sat||Oct 9||2010||Leif Erikson Day||Observance|
|Sun||Oct 9||2011||Leif Erikson Day||Observance|
|Tue||Oct 9||2012||Leif Erikson Day||Observance|
|Wed||Oct 9||2013||Leif Erikson Day||Observance|
|Thu||Oct 9||2014||Leif Erikson Day||Observance|
|Fri||Oct 9||2015||Leif Erikson Day||Observance|
|Sun||Oct 9||2016||Leif Erikson Day||Observance|
|Mon||Oct 9||2017||Leif Erikson Day||Observance|
|Tue||Oct 9||2018||Leif Erikson Day||Observance|
|Wed||Oct 9||2019||Leif Erikson Day||Observance|
|Fri||Oct 9||2020||Leif Erikson Day||Observance|
Quick FactsLeif Erikson Day honors the first Scandinavian known to have set foot on American soil and the contribution of the Nordic peoples to the United States.
Leif Erikson Day 2016Sunday, October 9, 2016
Leif Erikson Day 2017Monday, October 9, 2017
Name in other languages
|Leif Erikson Day||English|
|Día de Leif Erikson||Spanish|
|יום לייף אריקסון||Hebrew|
|ليف اريكسون يوم||Arabic|
|레이프 에릭슨의 날||Korean|
Other holidays in October 2016 in the United States
- Navaratri – Saturday, October 1, 2016
- Rosh Hashana – Monday, October 3, 2016
- Feast of St Francis of Assisi – Tuesday, October 4, 2016
- Dussehra – Monday, October 10, 2016
- Yom Kippur – Wednesday, October 12, 2016
- Navy Birthday – Thursday, October 13, 2016
- White Cane Safety Day – Saturday, October 15, 2016
- First Day of Sukkot – Monday, October 17, 2016
- Alaska Day – Tuesday, October 18, 2016
- Last Day of Sukkot – Sunday, October 23, 2016
- Shmini Atzeret – Monday, October 24, 2016
- Simchat Torah – Tuesday, October 25, 2016
- Nevada Day – Friday, October 28, 2016
- Diwali/Deepavali – Saturday, October 29, 2016
- Halloween – Monday, October 31, 2016