During the time of New Year, when everyone in Iceland is busy preparing for celebrations on New Years Eve, God performs his part by gifting beautiful winter weather to the country.
The cold weather at the time of New Year proliferate the entire magnitude of celebrations. Apart from its weather, the clean environment, stunning natural beauty and the warm people of Iceland makes it a dream destination to be in on New Years Eve, which is also popularly called as ‘Gamlarskrokd’ in Iceland.
Celebrations on New Years Eve in Iceland
Though there are many places in Iceland, which throw some extraordinary New Years Eve celebrations, the capital city of Reykjavik stands out as the most prominent one. Apart from the conventional party celebrations, equal importance is given to the customs and traditions involved with the occasion. As far as conventional party culture goes, New Years Eve is the time when all party places are chock-full, both with the locals as well visitors from other countries.
The nightlife scene in Iceland is hot, definitely more intense than its cold weather. Some great music is played all through the evening and night of New Years Eve, and most of the bars and pubs play it loud till the dawn of New Year’s Day. Also, people book a table in a fine restaurant to have a special dinner of the evening along with their family.
Other than that, all the major cities are beautifully decorated, and all major cities have splendid light shows. The largest crowd of the evening gathers at the Reykjavik’s cathedral in the capital city of Reykjavik. The live broadcast of the same on the radio is listened over by millions others. On New Years Eve, the entire Reykjavik gets into the party groove, and one can sense the same with the magnificent celebrations made over almost every street and lane of the city.
The evening holds a special feast for everyone, which is later followed by the fireworks show at the stroke of midnight. City also hosts number of cultural programs on New Years Eve, with many of them based on traditional music. Those carrying a good luck for the evening can expect to have a view of the Aurora Borealis.
Other than this, those at home remain hooked on to their television sets on New Years Eve to watch the special yearly episode of the comedy program of Áramótaskaupið, which refers to ‘The New Year’s Comedy’. It is basically a severe satire over the eminent personalities, as well as the prominent events occurred during the past whole year. Meanwhile, with the moment of the arrival of New Year drawing close, people start coming out of their houses to have a view of the splendid fireworks over the city skies.
Other than the socially organized fireworks shows, people in every house have their own scale of firework program, though comparatively on a small scale. Taking a look from some high point of the city, makes the entire city look like a big party stage, with splendid and magical lights flowing out to the skies
There is a tradition of organizing large community bonfire, in which everyone from the neighborhood participates. This tradition of community bonfires are in existence since a long time, and have grown up to be an intrinsic part of New Years Eve celebrations in Iceland. These bonfires are the places to come across few of the ancient stories related to the occasion. With the clock striking twelve, these bonfire gatherings turn into big party celebrations, with everyone eating, drinking, dancing, and raising toasts to mark their grand welcome.