When is Leif Erikson Day? Why is it celebrated?

Monday, Oct. 9, 2017, was Leif Erikson Day.

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.

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 Day doesn’t get as much recognition because it’s overshadowed by Monday’s Columbus Day—which, unlike Erikson’s day, is a federal holiday, meaning government employees get off work, as do many students and private-sector workers. Find out Why Do We Celebrate Columbus Day and Not Leif Erikson Day? at National Geographic.

Discover these 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know about Leif Erikson Day 2017 compiled by Heavy.com.