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Enjoy Þrettándabrennur bonfires in Reykjavík!

The Þrettándinn is a unique Icelandic holiday on the 6 January. It marks the official close of the Christmas season. Literally translated it means "the thirteenth" - same as Twelfth Night in English, but 13th in Icelandic because we start celebrating a day earlier than the Anglo-Saxons. We say farewell to Christmas with bonfires and fireworks  and all kinds of strange creatures.

This is the day that many people get rid of their Christmas trees and the last of the Yule Lads heads home to the mountains. Elf and troll costumes will abound as everyone makes their way to the closest bonfire to celebrate light in the mid-winter darkness.

According to myth it is one of the days when the hidden people, the elves, make themselves visible to humans. The Elf King and Queen therefore often visit the bonfires, and people sing songs about the elves and dance elf-dances.

Three Þrettándabrennur bonfires in Reykjavík:

If you want to get a taste of the celebrations, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the elves, you should join a Þrettándabrenna bonfire. There will be three bonfires in Reykjavík: Two in the suburbs and one close to downtown.

Ægissíða bonfire and firework display:  People gather at Melaskóli school at 18:00 with torches. The bonfire will be lit at 18:30 and at 18:45 a firework display will be held.

Grafarvogur bonfire and firework display:  The festivities will begin with hot coco at the Gufunesbær farm at 17:00. At 17:55 a torch-walk will march from the farm to the bonfire, which will be lit at 18:00. A fireworks show takes place at 18:30.

Grafarholt bonfire: A torch walk gathers at Guðríðarkirkja church at 18:30 in the Grafarholt neighborhood, a suburb on the eastern outskirts of Reykjavík. The nearby bonfire will be lit 19:15 and firework display at 20:00.