Ten New Year's Bonfires In The Reykjavik Area This Year - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Ten New Year’s Bonfires In The Reykjavik Area This Year

Published December 21, 2018

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Tumi-1983/Wikimedia Commons

Going to a bonfire on New Year’s Eve is a cherished Icelandic tradition, and you can take part in it at ten different locations in Reykjavík.

As RÚV reports, preparations for the event will begin on December 27, with shipping pallets and old Christmas trees being the most popular choice for fuel. Plastic, rubber, and treated wood will not be used. Employees of Reykjavík neighbourhood councils will be on hand to accept fuel and give guidance at the bonfire sites, with the last fuel accepted on New Year’s Eve itself.

The fires will be lit at 20:30 at all ten locations with the exceptions of Úlfarsfell, where it begins at 15:00, and at Skerjafjörður, where it starts at 21:00.

Per Icelandic tradition, gathering at a bonfire is the prelude to New Year’s celebrations. While some opt to remain at the bonfires until the fireworks start, most enjoy the light, warmth, and company of their neighbours for an hour or so before heading to any number of parties downtown. The apex of the evening is of course at midnight, when the exploding of fireworks reach their peak, but festivities will most likely continue well into the wee hours.

If you want to attend a bonfire in Reykjavík this year, the City of Reykjavík has issued this helpful map, showing you exactly where they will be lit. Attendance is free, and unforgettable.

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