Atmospheric processions of light

By | Travel
Fireworks display in

New Year’s celebrations all over the world may be often accompanied with fireworks displays in many of the large cities such as Sydney, New York and Paris. Many people celebrate in different ways, by toasting the New Year with loved ones or simply viewing the celebrations live on television. For some, travelling to another place for New Years may be appealing and an opportunity to create a unique experience at the end of the year.

In Scotland, traditions for New Year are slightly different to the rest of the United Kingdom. Firstly, New Year’s Eve in Scotland is referred to as Hogmanay. It is common around this time in Scotland for local events such as dinner dances, ceilidhs and parties to take place. Around this time, many men may like to wear the traditional Scottish kilt to get into the spirit of the celebrations and the events usually include traditional Scottish music. When visiting any of these events, expect to hear The Proclaimers ‘I Would Walk 500 Miles’ and Runrig’s ‘Loch Lomond’ at least once during this time!

Torch carriers at Hogmanay.

Torch carriers at Hogmanay.

An event which might attract tourists each year to Scotland in winter is the Hogmanay street party in Edinburgh. According to the official website, the street party is the only festival to have appeared in the Discovery Channel – Top 25 World Travel Experiences and is one of the biggest outdoor parties. Ticket prices are £25 for this year’s street party event, and may be value for money as the event includes many different activities. An additional activity to include for an extra £12 is the torchlight procession, which takes place on the 30th December. During this time, thousands of torch carriers light up the city centre as they walk together towards a fireworks finale, which acts as the opening event to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations.

The street party itself includes live performances from well-known bands and performers. This year, Maximo Park will be performing alongside several DJs and traditional Scottish bands. Other activities during this time include a candlelit concert at St. Giles’ Cathedral, which features a choir in its ancient surroundings of the cathedral. As well as this, the party includes an outdoor ceilidh event in Edinburgh’s Old Town. An interesting event taking place exclusively at this year’s event is the world record attempt for the ‘largest Scottish traditional dance.’ Ticket holders may participate in the world record attempt which involves learning a choreographed Scottish dance in the heart of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

Alternative ways to celebrate the New Year in Edinburgh without braving the cold weather is to visit a local pub. Pubs during this time are lively and may attract tourists and locals alike, who may be keen to celebrate Hogmanay indoors. Planned in advance, this may be a great way to view the city and the famous castle from a seated point of view. An example of a pub which offers views is The Castle Arms, situated just off the Royal Mile which offers traditional Scottish food and whiskey.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street party offers fun activities to get involved in and may offer the opportunity to soak in the atmosphere in possibly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Expect to bring in the bells whilst viewing the iconic Edinburgh Castle or join in on the buzz in the Old Town. The Hogmanay street party may offer lots of unique experiences and lasting memories for those who aim to travel somewhere to celebrate the New Year.

How may New Years be a productive opportunity for change?


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