Bonfire to celebrate New Year's Eve in 2014 in Reykjavik, Iceland
© Ragnar Th Sigurdsson/Alam
Roaring into 2022. New Year's Eve
The Land of Fire and Ice earns its nickname from the unique landscape of volcanoes and glaciers here, but Iceland's white-hot celebrations in the dead of the Nordic midwinter also evoke the phrase. The tradition of New Year's Eve bonfires in Iceland is said to date from the 18th century, when a group of schoolboys heralded the new year by scrounging up and torching a huge pile of wood scraps. The unruly teenagers' celebration sparked the general public's interest, and annual fires—like this one in Reykjavik—became an internationally noted tradition for Icelanders. Huddle up to the fire and raise a toasty-warm toast to the new year!