HUNDREDS of Loony Dookers defied Scotland’s winter weather by welcoming in the first day of 2016 with the traditional plunge into the freezing water of the Firth of Forth.
Dressed as everything from Star Wars stormtroopers to pirates and a bumblebee, the Dookers made a brave run into the South Queensferry water before being warmed up by blankets brought along by friends. The average temperature along the shore was 4C.
Edinburgh’s Lord Provost Donald Wilson had earlier headed the Dooker Parade along the town’s High Street and down to the water’s edge.
Part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, the 30th anniversary fundraising Loony Dook also attracted hundreds of spectators along the shore.
Similar events took place across Scotland, including Dundee, St Andrews, Portobello and North Berwick.
The organisers of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay said the Street Party, Concert in the Gardens and the newest addition, The Old Town Ceilidh – which are beamed to billions worldwide – had been a major success, attracting a capacity crowd of 75,000 revellers.
Dancers at the Old Town Ceilidh, attended by around 4,000 people, broke the Guinness World Record for the Largest Scottish Country Dance,
Temporary assistant chief constable Mark Williams said the city’s celebrations had been a success with no arrests.
“Edinburgh has once again welcomed in the New Year in style,” he said.
“I would like to thank everyone who turned up for supporting officers and stewards to deliver a safe and hugely enjoyable event.
“We have worked for many months with the City of Edinburgh Council, Unique Events and other emergency services to plan for the Street Party and I am delighted that it passed with no arrests.”
New Year’s Day also saw the Scot:Lands cultural crawl involving people using a map to explore a range of venues featuring artists and musicians.
The Final Fling, the last event of the three-day festival, took place at the National Museum of Scotland, with music by the Portobello Ceilidh Band.
Meanwhile, the festive season is officially as Easter eggs appear in the shops.
Cadbury’s Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs are on sale in a host of stores. Retail giant Sainsbury’s were selling treats including a £2.50 caramel egg and a “Moo-Free Easter Egg” at £4 yesterday – despite Easter not being until 27 March.