What do you see in the flames? Is it a mountain… a mountain like an arrowhead? Or is it the beginning of 2019, the New Year? Look closer into the fire… what do you see?
Well, fire worshippers should rejoice, for the end of December in Iceland is not only celebrated with dazzling firework displays but also raging bonfires, reminiscent of ancient Viking societies celebrating their pagan rituals at the end of the winter solstice.
New Year bonfires in Iceland are known as Áramótabrenna and serve as the perfect opportunity to ring in 2019 in the company of one’s fellow countrymen.
For a truly dramatic atmosphere and some much-needed warmth, there is no place better to be at New Year’s but one of these flaming celebrations. Aside from the fire itself, Áramótabrenna can also include fancy dress, sing-songs and theatrical performances relating to Iceland’s history and folklore.
If you are planning on attending Áramótabrenna this year, please be aware that fireworks are not permitted for safety reasons, though it is a common sight seeing people break the rules. Bonfires are to be lit at 8:30 PM, with one of the most popular sites being Ægisíða, in west downtown Reykjavík close to the harbour.
Provided is a list of all 10 Bonfires in the Reykjavík area on the 31st; just search for the name in bold & you will find directions.
- Ægisíða. Small bonfire.
- Skerjafjörður, opposite the street, Skildinganes. Small Bonfire.
- Suðurhlíðar, below Fossvogur Cemetery. Small bonfire.
- Laugardalur, close to the street Laugarásvegur. Small Bonfire.
- Geirsnef. Large bonfire.
- Suðurfell. Small bonfire.
- Rauðavatn. Large bonfire.
- Gufunes. Large bonfire.
- Kléberg by Kjalarnes. Small bonfire.
- Úlfarsfell – On the Fishing Association premises above Lambhagavegur. Small bonfire.
Most of these locations feature on this map: