As last year wrapped up, we created this gallery thinking of ends—and of the rituals we use to mark new beginnings.
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) photographer John Patric depicts youths dressed as wise men, prophets, and shepherds singing Christmas carols across the countryside of Northern Hungary.
Moving onto beginnings, one dazzling image captures the energetic promise 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.
This gallery celebrates more than a century of powerful visual storytelling. Here’s to new beginnings, and to another year of amazing photographs from the National Geographic archives.
This story originally published on January 15, 2021. It has been updated.