Spend Your New Year's Eve Like an Icelander

Posted by on 16 Dec 2019

The sky full of colourful fireworks, warming bonfires, and happiness in the air. Just a little bit of what you can expect from your New Year's Eve in Iceland. There are holiday traditions, you know, and there are holiday traditions that you experience for the first time. Celebrating New Year's Eve in Iceland should be one of them. It is like no other.

Amazing fireworks show in front of the Hallgrimskirkja church in Reykjavik

After time well spent, full from eating and relaxing during the Christmas holidays, New Year's Eve is waiting right around the corner. Many people are still enjoying their vacations from work or school, ready to set the year behind them on fire on the evening of December.

Huge bonfire is a tradition in Iceland on the New Year's Eve

On this last day of the year, most Icelanders have dinner with family, after which they go out to meet with their neighbors and friends, and stand around warming bonfire while singing songs and revel in the festive spirit. The streets are tranquil because the Áramótaskaup show is on TV at 22:30. Áramótaskaup is a comedy show which summarises all of the significant events in Iceland. 


After having a good laugh, it is time to go out and watch the incredible fireworks because, honestly, everybody is lighting fireworks. In Iceland, it is the people that run the fireworks show, not the city or town government. Firecrackers and noisemakers became a tradition to scare away any remaining evil spirits and to ensure a brand new start. A song which Icelanders usually sing is a song from 1886 called "Nú árið er liðið" (Now the year has passed). After midnight, Icelanders also like to say small jokes like "ooh, I haven't seen you since last year!", or "I remember last year like it was yesterday":-)

Great show every year all around the Iceland

Icelanders love New Year's Eve celebrations, and if you are wondering what the New Year's Eve in Iceland is all about, we have a few options for you to experience it. Do you want to see only the bonfire and enjoy midnight fireworks on your own? In this case, we recommend that you try the Bonfire Tour, where you will join Icelanders, sing, dance and heat a little bit your frozen body with a big smile on your face. 

If you are interested in joining in the fun of watching the sky light up as midnight approaches, join the celebration of the Fireworks Tour. Going to a location with the best view of the fireworks while enjoying some bubbly is what you can expect. 

Fireworks during the New Year's Eve in Iceland are unforgetabble experience to explore

Or go big and enjoy the Bonfire & Fireworks Tour where you can experience both exciting traditions together. During each tour, an experienced and cheerful guide will take you on an adventure, finding the best spot to watch the show and sharing all of the interesting stories about the holiday traditions with you.

It is our wish that you spend your best New Year's Eve celebrations in Iceland or wherever you plan to celebrate it. This night is an unforgettable time of the year, and you will remember it forever.


Gleðilegt nýtt ár! (Happy New Year!)



Recent articles

How to make the most out of a stormy day in Reykjavik

Has the weather had an impact on your plans for sightseeing in Iceland? If your day tour to any of Iceland?s natural and historical sites has been cancelled due to weather, here are a few suggestions for things you can do in Reykjavik:

4 Stories of Trolls who turned into Rocks

Trolls were creatures that were greatly feared for centuries; gigantic monstrous creatures that could only travel during sundown, since sunlight turns them into solid rock. Therefore, isolated rock formations who seem to be out of place, were often said to be petrified trolls. Here is a list of some of Iceland?s most well known rocks who are claimed to have been trolls a long time ago, and the story of their troll lives:

How's the weather in Iceland?

The most unpredictable thing in Iceland is the weather. Sometimes we check the weather forecast many times each day and it's different each time. The temperature can change dramatically, specially in winter so it's no wonder that the first thing an Icelander will do when meeting someone is to talk about the weather!