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New Year’s Bonfires in Reykjavik, Iceland

According to Icelandic folklore, on New Year’s Eve, it’s necessary to burn away the old year to make room for the new one. This explains Icelanders’ love for fireworks this time of year, but also manifests itself in the New Year’s bonfires, or Áramótabrenna, an Icelandic custom dating back to the late 18th century.

For the last few years, Reykjavík has hosted 10 of these bonfires varying in size. In case you’re interested in helping to burn away the remnants of 2015, these are the locations for the 2015 New Year’s bonfires:

1) By Ægisíða

2) In Skerjafjörður by the street Skildinganes 48 – 52 (lit at 21:00)

3) By Suðurhlíðar, below the Fossvogur valley cemetery

4) West of Laugarásvegur by Valbjarnarvöllur sports area

5) At Geirsnef

6) By Suðurfell

7) The Fylkisbrenna, by Rauðavatn

8) At Gufunes, by the old recycling centre

9) At Kléberg in Kjalarnes

10) At Úlfarsfell by Lambhagavegur, (lit at 15:00)

The New Year’s bonfires are lit at 20:30 unless stated otherwise. The use of fireworks is not allowed at the bonfires.

These bonfires do not have any official schedule, but people gather around the fire and celebrate the end of the year. These events are especially popular with families and children.  For everyone safety, please do not to bring fireworks to the New Year’s bonfires!

The towns surrounding Reykjavík have their own bonfires. They will also be lit at 20:30, except at Sjávargrund in Garðabær, and are as such:

Seltjarnarnes – at Valhúsahæð

Kópavogur – by Smárahvammsvöllur by DigranesKirkja Church and the Þingbrenna bonfire at Gulaþing

Garðabær – in Álftanes near the shore at Gesthús and at Sjávargrund (lit at 21:00)

Hafnarfjörður – at Ásvellir by the Haukar sports area

Mosfellsbær – by Leirvogur down from Holt area