As 2020 wrapped up, I created this gallery thinking of ends—and the rituals we use to mark the the new beginnings to come.
In one image, longtime National Geographic photographer Melissa Farlow captures two men dressed in suits of tree lichen during Schleicherlaufen, a festival held every five years to celebrates winter’s end in Telfs, Austria. In another image (from 1938, no less) John Patric depicts youths dressed as wise men, prophets, and shepherds singing Christmas carols across the countryside of Northern Hungary.
And what better way to close things out than with a picture of New Year’s Eve? Annie Griffiths’ photo shows twenty tons of fireworks exploding over Sydney Harbor at midnight, ringing in the year 2000—and the new millennium.
Here’s to new beginnings, and to another year of amazing vintage photographs from the National Geographic archives.