Leif Erikson Day - October 9
Mon, Oct 9, 2023

Leif Erikson Day

Leif Erikson Day is a holiday dedicated to the Norwegian explorer who brought the first Europeans to North America. On October 9th, the US Congress officially recognized the holiday in 1964, and various states adopted it throughout the 20th century to commemorate the great contribution of Norwegians to the development of the United States.


Leif Erikson was born in 970 or 980 and was a real Viking! His father was expelled from Iceland, so he and his family moved to Greenland. Feeling the cold and boredom of the place, Leif put together a team for a trip to Norway. There, he converted to Christianity and was given a mission to bring faith to Greenland. But he lost his course and sailed to North America instead! He and his comrades created a small settlement for the winter, and in the spring they went back to Scandinavia. From then on, Scandinavian settlements increased in America. While nothing is known about the death of the brave traveler, the fact that he lived a bright and eventful life is certain.

Interesting facts

  • Leif had several sons, but he didn’t create his own family. He took the first son, Thorgills, to himself and christened him.
  • Legends tell that not all Native Americans received the Norwegian guests in a friendly way. It is said that they attacked the Vikings with catapults and Leif’s brother was killed by a local warrior.
  • Scientists have found evidence of Vikings living in North America, but it is not known for certain what they did.

How to take part

Studying history is the best way to spend Leif Erikson Day! Tell interesting moments to the younger generation and answer their questions. You can also call your Norwegian friends and wish them Happy Holidays!

When is Leif Erikson Day celebrated in 2023?

Leif Erikson Day is observed on October 9 each year.


Weekday Month Day Year
Monday October 9 2023
Wednesday October 9 2024
Thursday October 9 2025
Friday October 9 2026

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