New Years Eve in Iceland is like no other celebration. This is a wild, loud and exciting time! Traditionally, the Icelandic start the evening off with a festive family dinner. Afterwards they head over to a bonfire.
There’s 10 bonfires throughout Reykjavik that light up at 8:30 PM on December 31st. Four large bonfires and six smaller ones. Although fireworks are a huge part of New Years Eve in Iceland, they are forbidden at the bonfires.
From around 10:30 to 11:35 PM, the streets become remarkably quiet, as 90% of the Icelandic population go home to watch the annual New Years Eve comedy show on TV called Áramótaskaup. The streets start bustling again as the time leads up to midnight.
It is rumoured that the average Icelandic person spends 20% of their annual income on fireworks for New Years. As soon as Áramótaskaup ends, there’s a fabulous firework display like you’ve never seen before as all 200 000 people in Reykjavik start lighting off 500 tons of fireworks collectively!
The significant firework display is not to be missed! I had never seen so many fireworks in my entire life and was genuinely surprised at the amount of them. Afterwards, Reykjavik is one huge party. Go to a crowded and wild bar, or just hang out in the busy streets of Reykjavik!