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Gamlársdagur (New Year‘s Eve)

December 31

New Year‘s Eve is a major event on the Icelandic social calendar. The fun begins around 6pm when most people have a big festive dinner, after which they head out to a bonfire, or brenna, to mingle and socialize. At 22:30 it is time for the eagerly awaited „Áramótaskaup“  (New Year‘s Jest) – an hour long comedy special on TV. More than 90% of the Icelandic nation watches the „Áramótaskaup“ so the streets are virtually deserted while it is on.

The New Year‘s madness starts to build as soon as when the final credits roll, and at midnight all hell breaks loose. In Iceland fireworks are sold unresticted to the public between Christmas and New Years, and this small nation of 320.000 people manages to fire off over 500 tons of fireworks on New Year‘s Eve.

When most of the madness is over and everyone has toasted with some bubbly, people either head out to parties or downtown to go clubbing, where they party the night, and most of the morning, away.