Hogmanay 2015/16: 10 things to do to ring in the New Year

Party time. Picture: Jane Barlow
Party time. Picture: Jane Barlow
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At a loss for what to do to celebrate Hogmanay? Here are some suggestions.

1 Carry a flaming torch through the streets in the Torchlight ProcessionThe opening event of the 2015-16 Hogmanay Festival sees a river of fire through the streets of the city as 10,000 people carry flaming torches from George IV Bridge to Calton Hill and the son et lumière and firework finale which can be viewed from across the city and from the streets surrounding the hill. Access to Calton Hill will be exclusively available for torchbearers and their accompanying friends and family. Torches should be purchased in advance as they will sell out but spectators are welcome.

2 Experience the UK’s largest outdoor winter festival

Join 75,000 revellers in and around Princes Street to enjoy live acts across four Street Party stages. Featuring Newcastle alt-rock band and Mercury Prize nominees Maxïmo Park with special guests, energetic punk duo Slaves and Glasgow funk outfit, the hotly tipped White on the Waverley Stage; leading Scottish Celtic crossover bands Shooglenifty, Rura and Peatbog Faeries on the Castle Stage; BBC6 Music’s Craig Charles and his Funk & Soul Show live on the Frederick Stage and on screens the length of Princes Street and finally, fresh from their sell-out summer Fringe run, cabaret performers Guilty Pleasures on the Mound Stage. While Concert in the Gardens has already sold out, tickets for the Street Party are still available (£25 including booking fee).

3 Be a World Record Breaker

The Old Town Ceilidh moves to a new home in Parliament Square, with two stages playing the very best of Scottish dance music. Ceilidh Callers will remind you of the steps and at 11pm dancers are invited to smash the Guinness World Record for the largest Strip the Willow in Parliament Square and down the Royal Mile. Old Town Ceilidh tickets still available at £45. Please wear appropriate clothing and flat shoes.

4 Enjoy four fireworks displays in one night

Countdown fireworks lift from Edinburgh Castle at 9pm, 10pm and 11pm leading to the crescendo of the Midnight Moment launched from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle and from Calton Hill at the other end of Princes Street.

5 Join 75,000 Hogmanay revellers to link arms and sing Auld Lang Syne

After the Midnight Moment Fireworks, join the world’s largest rendition of Auld Lang Syne.

6 Hop on a free bus home

Thanks to Lothian Buses and Johnnie Walker’s Join the Pact campaign Free Hogmanay NightBus Services will be running for revellers at the Street Party and throughout the city centre supported by Diageo and provided by Lothian Buses. Buses start at 12.20am and run until 4am.

7 Be brave and join 1000 other Loony Dookers in a chilly dip in the River Forth

On New Year’s Day you can work off the excess of the night afore at the 30th Anniversary Stoats Loony Dook with a chilly dip in the Forth. Starting with a Dookers Parade through South Queensferry at 2.30pm featuring pipers and a host of entertainment, over 1000 Dookers will take the chilly plunge for charity under the Forth Bridge. There are plenty of vantage points to watch the action and spectators are welcomed – South Queensferry has a variety of pubs, cafes and restaurants, all open on New Year’s Day. Places are limited and there’s no registration on the day.

8 Take a mystery tour around Scot:Lands – the multi-arts, pop-up festival within a festival

Intriguing, provocative, sometimes reflective, always entertaining, Scot:Lands offers one chance, on one afternoon only, to enjoy an extraordinary collection of music, spoken word, theatre, storytelling and film. Entry is free but you should pre-register at www.edinburghshogmanay.com

9 Birl your way through the Final Fling

Join in the Hogmanay Festival Final Fling – a ceilidh for everyone in the Grand Hall of the National Museum of Scotland on Chambers Street from 5pm on January 1. Music and calling of the dances by Edinburgh ceilidh supremos: the Portobello Ceilidh Band. Free and unticketed.

10 Become part of the multi-award winning #blogmanay project

The multi award-winning #blogmanay project invites travel and lifestyle bloggers from around the world to come to Scotland to discover everything we have to offer as a winter destination. But you can join in – use #blogmanay to share your photos, videos and experiences of Hogmanay in Edinburgh.