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New Year's Eve

New Year’s Eve in the capital area is an extraordinary experience, especially given the fact that there are no official firework displays in the city. This legendary night is very much created by the people of Reykjavik who collectively do an amazing job with the pyrotechnics and celebrations.

Traditionally Icelanders start the evening with a festive family dinner, followed by a trip to a local bonfire (brenna) where they meet up and celebrate with neighbours. From around 22:30 to 23:35 the city streets go remarkably quiet as a whopping 90% of the nation gather around their TV sets to watch Áramótaskaup – or the annual New Year’s Eve Ridicule (a comedy show broadcast by the national television channel, satirizing the major news stories and events of the year).

At 23:35 a brilliant display of fireworks is unleashed as 200,000 people (approx.the population of Reykjavík) set off around 500 tonnes of fireworks. They can’t wait for midnight and start shooting ‘em up as soon as Áramótaskaup is finished! After midnight, the nightclubs and pubs remain open and the celebrations go on well into the morning.

Although there are no official city-sponsored events, there are of course plenty of private parties and smaller happenings going on all over the city, many of which will be advertised on the events section of our website.