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MonAug 7

Commerce Day – August 7, 2023

Commerce Day is every first Monday of August — this year, it falls on August 7. Icelanders love this holiday and look forward to it with great enthusiasm. Though it started as a public holiday for blue-collar workers, it quickly caught on with other workers in the country and other European nations. Commerce Day is a day to celebrate workers’ daily services and sacrifices. It’s also a day off for everybody. The national stock exchange shuts down its normal operations on Commerce Day, as do most large and small businesses.

History of Commerce Day

Commerce Day, also known as ‘Fridagur verslunarmanna,’ is observed in Iceland. The idea came from Denmark, and though the tradition died out among Danes, it’s still going strong in Iceland. The first Commerce Day was observed on September 13, 1894, a date agreed upon at a meeting of unions and managers of the larger shops in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital. This public holiday aimed to give commercial workers a day off in the summer. Commerce Day became popular with shop workers, tradespeople, and industrial workers. As time went by, its dates shifted between September and August.

In 1931, Icelanders decided to make the first Monday in August Commerce Day. As this falls on a Monday, Commerce Day became a long weekend holiday in Iceland, and the locals took full advantage of it. It’s not often that the climate is warm and sunny; hence, it’s no surprise that this holiday caught on fast with workers. It was a fitting end to the summer before everyone had to go back to work or school. It also made sense for everyone to take a break on this day, as manufacturers and suppliers depend on each other for parts and labor.

Commerce Day is still a beloved Icelandic holiday in present times, marked by lots of outdoor festivals, recreational activities, and parties! Many Icelanders pack their tents and load up their R.Vs to get some much-needed free time in the beautiful summer woods.

Commerce Day timeline

1894
First Commerce Day

The first Commerce Day holds in Reykjavik.

1931
Official Date Selection

Shop managers, manufacturers, and union representatives unanimously agree on the first Monday of August as the official date for Commerce Day.

1982
Launch of Boston Computer Exchange

The world’s first e-commerce company, Boston Computer Exchange, goes online.

1994
Amazon’s Humble Beginnings

Amazon launches an online bookstore.

Commerce Day FAQs

Who is the father of commerce?

According to Greek mythology, Poseidon is the father of commerce because merchants used the sea for trade.

Who started the e-commerce?

Michael Aldrich, a British entrepreneur, came up with the process for online transactions between businesses and consumers, popularly known as e-commerce.

What are the three types of e-commerce?

The two types of e-commerce are Business to Business (B2B), Business to Consumer (B2C), and consumer-to-consumer (C2C).

Commerce Day Activities

  1. Say thank you to workers

    It might seem a bit awkward, but a few words of gratitude to workers in your area can go a long way in making them feel appreciated. If you don't want to do it in person, reach out to them on social media. Help spread awareness and encourage others to show their gratitude for workers' efforts everywhere. It's a simple but impactful way to celebrate the day.

  2. Throw a party

    Do you need a reason to party on a public holiday? If yes, you'll be delighted to learn that early Commerce Day celebrations involved a series of parties and festivals. Many couldn't make it to the main events at the Westman Islands due to bad weather; thus, they organized smaller celebrations of their own in different parts of the country. That's a good enough reason to party!

  3. Go camping

    Commerce Day is considered an unofficial camping holiday in Iceland. Many leave the city for the peaceful ambiance of the great outdoors on this day. It's a great way to unwind and get away from the hustle and bustle of the urban work environment.

5 Informative Facts About Commerce In The Modern World

  1. It's the fastest growing industry

    E-commerce sales through social media have grown by 93% annually for the past four years, making it one of the fastest-growing business sectors.

  2. It's the least corrupt business sector

    Thanks to its highly technologically advanced business model, the e-commerce industry registers a low amount of approximately 0.8% fraudulent activity.

  3. Nobody likes to pay shipping fees

    If shipping fees exceed the cost of items in the shopping cart, 54% of consumers will not complete their purchases, which has amounted to nearly $18 billion in losses for all e-commerce companies combined.

  4. Window shopping is still a thing

    With the lack of physical stores, you might think that online shopping means no more window shopping; however, 97% of mobile users and 70% of PC users abandon their carts, proof that they're just doing it to kill time.

  5. Many consumers prefer cash over credit cards

    If the only payment option is instant credit card payment rather than paying money on delivery, 51% of shoppers will abandon their carts.

Why We Love Commerce Day

  1. Commerce brought about civilization

    Commerce is at the heart of human civilization and advancement. All great empires had one thing in common — a robust trade system that crossed borders. The Roman roads brought prosperity and development. The Silk Road developed Eurasian economic and political relations. The shipping lines of the British East India Trading Company brought the wonders of the eastern world to Europe.

  2. Everyone deserves a day off

    At its core, Commerce Day is all about rest for the people who work so hard to keep our societies functional. This holiday is for the tradespeople, merchants, office workers, retail and service staff, delivery drivers, and everyone else who does their part to make our daily lives comfortable.

  3. Keeping tradition alive

    This holiday is well over 100 years, and it's still relevant today. More European countries are embracing this holiday with each passing year. Every time you celebrate Commerce Day, you keep a long-standing tradition alive.

Commerce Day dates

YearDateDay
2022August 1Monday
2023August 7Monday
2024August 5Monday
2025August 4Monday
2026August 3Monday

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