Nobody parties like the Scots – and nobody does Hogmanay like Edinburgh. Here’s all the goss on what’s happening to make this New Year one you’ll never forget.
For four centuries, until the 1950s, Christmas wasn’t openly celebrated in in conservative-with-a-small-c Scotland, so Hogmanay become the main Winter Solstice festival, a three-day extravaganza of feasting and frivolity.
Hogmanay in the country’s capital is a huge celebration, and this year’s there’s plenty to celebrate whatever age you are.
December 30, and things kick off with the stunning – and singularly moving – torchlight procession. Whether as spectator or torchbearer, your breath will be taken by this open air torchlight procession down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Park. Please note – you must have a ticket and a torch in order to partake in the procession.
Baby Loves Disco
You’ve got to start ‘em young if you want to teach your wee ones to be true party animals. Here’s a day disco with a difference – from 1pm onwards on New Year’s Eve, the Festival Square Spiegeltent will become a rock-out for kiddies aged 0-6. With music suitable for sensitive ears, but nevertheless perfect for dancing, it’s a two-hour dance marathon for littlies. Non-walking babies enter free, otherwise entry £10.
Want to partake in the Street Party celebrations, but too young for the crowds and the late night? Bairns Afore is a new, family focused event on New Year’s Eve from 4pm, where you and your kin can enter the Princes Street Gardens for fireworks, street food and entertainment ahead of the rowdiness of the big night. Perfect for a family Hogmanay that’ll still have your tots tucked up by bedtime.
Concert in the Garden
Enclosure tickets are already sold out, but it’s still possible to nab garden tickets to this; from 9pm New Year’s Eve, watch 2017’s biggest artist, double BRIT award-winning Rag’n’Bone Man, bring his brand of soulful R’n’B to a stage set below the spectacular, lit-up Edinburgh Castle. He’s joined by 18-year-old singer-songwriter sensation, Declan McKenna, and Edinburgh’s own, singer Nina Nesbitt.
From 7pm until midnight bells, bands, DJs, street performers, dancers, acrobats and fire eaters will do their best to entertain you, before the big bang of the almighty Festival Fireworks at midnight. Human League are headlining the Waverley Stage with their perennially popular 80s pop, while Radio 6 (and one time Fun Loving Criminal) Huey Morgan will take on DJ duties.
Suffering from a thick head on New Year’s Day? This will wash the cobwebs away. A traditional dip in the bracing cold of the Forth on January 1 and you’ll emerge reborn. Or at the very least, you’ll be so cold you’ll forget your hangover.
For more information and to book your Hogmanay events, visit https://www.edinburghshogmanay.com