China Saves Iceland’s New Year’s Celebrations Skip to content

China Saves Iceland’s New Year’s Celebrations

Iceland will be able to celebrate the New Year in the traditional manner with a massive amount of fireworks, thanks to Chinese fireworks manufacturer Zhang Zong Lin, which agreed to delayed payment from fireworks importer Landsbjörg.

Managing director of Landsbjörg Kristinn Ólafsson told Morgunbladid that the fireworks had already been ordered in February and that the first delivery had arrived last summer.

When the second shipment was supposed to be sent to Iceland, the economic conditions had changed dramatically. The ISK had depreciated immensely and Landsbjörg had problems with transferring foreign currency.

“We contacted the manufacturer in China and explained the situation. He [Zhang Zong Lin] showed us a lot of understanding and decided to give us credit for the delivery. We just hope that the situation has improved by New Year’s so that we can pay him back,” Ólafsson said.

Landsbjörg has a long-standing business relationship with Zhang Zong Lin and Ólafsson appreciates his trust in the association, which he describes as an act of friendship.

Landsbjörg or ICE-SAR, the association of volunteer search and rescue teams in Iceland, has a 70 to 80 percent market share of fireworks sales in Iceland. The profits go towards their operations and is their biggest source of income.

Without fireworks sales it would be difficult to operate search and rescue teams, Ólafsson said.

Icelanders are known for setting off an excessive amount of fireworks on New Year’s Eve and the explosive celebrations have become quite a tourist attraction. Records have been broken in fireworks sales year after year, but now Ólafsson expects a drop in sales.

Click here to watch a video of the Icelandic fireworks mania.

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