The weather forecast for midnight on New Year’s Eve is predicting rain, but the evening looks to be cloudy with little to no precipitation. Which is a good thing, because of the hallowed Icelandic tradition of the New Year’s Eve bonfire.
Bonfires are typically organised by local municipalities and set light in mid-evening. It’s an occasion for the public to gather around a towering blaze and reflect upon the year that has passed, hopefully thinking of better things to come in the new year. These events are open to everyone and free to attend.
This year, the City of Reykjavík has posted a schedule of where this year’s bonfires will be, along with a handy map (and here’s a .pdf of the same map, if you’re so inclined). These bonfires will be at the following locations, and begin at 20:30 unless otherwise noted:
Ægisíða, right by the water
Skerjafjörður, at Skildinganes 48 – 52, which will be lit at 21:00
Suðurhlíð, below Fossvogskirkjugarður cemetery
Laugardalur, by Laugarásvegur 18
Geirsnef, on the northern shore
Rauðavatn lake, on the northern shore
Gufunes, by Gufunesbær
Kjalarnes, by Kléberg
Ulfarsfell, near Lambahagabegur, which will be lit at 15:00
If you get near any of these locations and are concerned you won’t know precisely where the bonfires are, just look for a distinct orange glow, or follow the masses of people walking in one general direction. Bear in mind that setting off fireworks, chucking things onto the fire, and general mischief are not permitted at these bonfires.
Bonfires are a fantastic way to bid adieu to 2019, as many people are looking forward to doing, before you head off for your New Year’s party or wait at home for midnight’s fireworks to begin.
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