The Capitol of Scotland, Edinburgh has been endowed with natural beauty and a rich cultural past that is cherished and has been preserved through the ages.
The occasion of New Year or Hogmanay has always been an important one, so much so that it takes precedence over Christmas celebrations even, and the extravagant celebrations that take place on this occasion are a proof of that.
Traditionally the streets are flocked with people on this occasion as people gather round to wish each other “Guid New Year” and drink in order to get over the freezing cold.
Almost a decade back the idea of starting a festival of sorts that would go on to become the biggest winter festival in Europe and one of the most famous New Year celebrations that the world has ever seen originated and the celebration of Hogmanay in Edinburgh draws some hundreds of thousand people ever year.
- The Torchlight Procession: 29th of December
The Hogmanay celebrations start on the 29th of December generally and the first festive event is the torch bearing as parades of people march along the road which is famously known as the Royal Mile and then they reach Calton hill, where a reminder of the Viking past that Scotland holds dear, a Viking Longship is set on fire.
- The Night Afore : 30th of December
Post the fever of the torchlight Procession of the 29th, the next night i.e. the 30th of December the street festivities start, with live music blasting from everywhere, the occasion is known as the ‘Night Afore’ and is a carnivalesque extravaganza that is unforgettable. You can literally see Edinburgh come to life on this night as the City Centre; the hosting site is strewn with people dancing, singing and drinking.
The party that is traditionally known as Ceilidh starts normally at 8 ‘o’ clock at night all over Edinburgh the most of famous of which being held at George street, and various activities like, storytelling, comedy, along with a traditional Ceilidh band are the highlights of the occasion.
- New Years Eve : 31st of December
The New Years Eve brings with it another set of celebrations, like the Hogmanay Street Party, which comprises of big screens, music stages and a fireworks celebration. Another major event is the concert that is held in the Princes Street gardens which has quite a line-up of famous artists. The eccentric Hoog and Hoog royale, is another Dance party event that people look forward to, which has a mixture of both DJs as well as Ceilidh bands and are normally held at the Queens Hall and Assembly Rooms.
- New Years Day: 1st of January
New Years Day is perhaps the day when you will find quite an interesting mix of events that are held across Edinburgh, events like Dogmanay, which is basically a dog sledge race that takes place at Holyrood Park, or the Loony Dook where you will find hundreds of courageous people jumping into the freezing river Forth, while dressed up in funny costumes. If you are the athletic kind, there are events like the Edinburgh Bicycle Triathlon and the Iron Kids Duathlon that will put your athletic prowess to test.
So if you want a 4 days extravaganza of immense enjoyment, give the Hogmanay celebration sin Edinburgh a go; you are bound to have a wonderful time and memories that you shall treasure forever.