Edinburgh’s Hogmanay kicks off its virtual celebrations with a stunning tribute to NHS staff and key workers

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Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2020 digital festivities kicked off with a heartfelt thank you to NHS staff and key workers across the country.

Opening this year's series of virtual celebrations, the stunning multi-coloured flare display was ignited on the Esplanade at Edinburgh Castle which has historically been the launchpad of hundreds of fireworks set off to mark the start of the new year.

The show opened with a flaming tribute to NHS staff and key workers for their continuous hard work throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

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‘Thank You’ was spelled out in fiery rainbow letters taking inspiration from the rainbows that Scotland and the rest of the UK placed in windows and homes over the past year to show support for front line staff.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay kicks off the virtual celebrations with a stunning tribute to NHS staff and key workersEdinburgh’s Hogmanay kicks off the virtual celebrations with a stunning tribute to NHS staff and key workers
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay kicks off the virtual celebrations with a stunning tribute to NHS staff and key workers

City of Edinburgh Council Leader, Councilor Adam McVey, praised the tribute: “This is a fantastic and innovative way to pay tribute to all of our front-line workers – both in Scotland and across the globe - that have done so much to support us and keep us safe throughout this year.

"To our NHS staff and key workers – for those in the labs working on vaccines, those in food preparation and delivery, for our refuse collectors, postal workers, supermarket workers, police and so many more – we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts and hope that 2021 brings with it positive change as we battle to suppress and eradicate this virus.”

Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, Directors of Underbelly who produce Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, added: “At the end of a year no one could have imagined, it was important that we started our week of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations with a heartfelt thank you to those across the UK who have worked so tirelessly to keep us safe during 2020.

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“The NHS and our key workers have provided an immeasurable level of help and support and this Torchlight Moment sings Scotland's gratitude with flaming torches in front one of our greatest national monuments, Edinburgh Castle.”

The Torchlight Moment kicked off the celebrations and forms part of a week-long programme to make the most of New Year despite coronavirus restrictions.

It will be followed by a three-part film, titled Fare Well, which will be released in the three days leading up to Hogmanay.

Fare Well is the UK’s largest ever drone show and brings together the words of Scots Makar Jackie Kay, the music of NiteWorks from the Isle of Skye and the voices of acclaimed Scottish talent including David Tennant.

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Taking inspiration from Scotland’s land and air, the new work takes viewers on a breath-taking visual journey with the help of 150 individual drones from the Scottish Highlands to the capital city.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events, also shared his praise of the efforts to move the celebrations online this year: "The Torchlight Moment is the perfect way to kick off Edinburgh’s week-long programme of online Hogmanay celebrations while also recognising the incredible work of our NHS and frontline workers in keeping us safe and well this year.

“By taking this year’s celebrations online, audiences around the world will still be able to enjoy the magic of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay while staying safe at home.”

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