Lucky 13 goes with a bang as 75,000 revellers come together at the capital’s 20th Hogmanay party

Fireworks in Princes Street Gardens
Fireworks in Princes Street Gardens
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A EUPHORIC atmosphere cast aside any grey spells as 75,000 revellers took to the streets to welcome the 20th anniversary of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations.

Many party-goers hailed the Lucky 13 festivities the best yet as the Capital rejoiced in its world-renowned celebrations to bring in the New Year.

The  Big Bang event in Buccleuch Place

The Big Bang event in Buccleuch Place

Scottish rock-legends Simple Minds buoyed the crowds either side of the impressive fireworks display that lit up the Castle.

One reveller, John Murray, 27, had a celebration of his own including a standing ovation by well-wishers after he proposed to girlfriend Emily Farm, 25, outside St Giles’ Cathedral, shortly after the bells chimed.

John could not hide his delight when the Bristol-born lass accepted.

He said: “I got down on one knee and she said yes. I have the grazed knee to prove it.”

Hogmanay revellers

Hogmanay revellers

Crowds also embraced the traditional Keilidh and danced to the upbeat tunes relay on giant screens across the city.

Lee Hynd, 23, from Fife, came to watch his favourite band The View with girlfriend Kate Bradley, 20. He said: “It’s been a brilliant way of bringing in the New Year.”

More than 2000 fireworks were released to light up the Edinburgh sky in the Lucky 13 event. Police said party goers had been generally good-natured, with no serious incidents overnight – only four arrests for minor disorder were made across the street party.

The festivities continued well into New Year’s Day, with over 1100 brave souls diving into the freezing waters of the Forth Estuary for the 27th successive Loony Dook.

Simple Minds perform at the Ross Band Stand

Simple Minds perform at the Ross Band Stand

A cavalcade of people in fancy dress paraded along South Queensferry’s High Street from 1.30pm before entering the water.

Bus driver David Lawson, 41, from Wallyford, joined 11 friends in taking the plunge to raise funds for UK-based chromosome disorder charity Unique. He admitted: “I did have a raging hangover and it took it away a wee bit.”

Across town about 300 people sweated it out in the New Year’s Day triathlon, with competitors swimming 400m of the Royal Commonwealth Pool before cycling 11 miles around Arthur’s Seat and running 3.5 miles.

Elsewhere crowds chose to cheer on sled dog racing as the revived Edinburgh’s Dogmanay event returned to Holyrood Park.

Celebrations culminated in a spectacular Big Bang street theatre event at Buccleuch Place.

One of the only low points came as a result of a record turnout of 35,000 at the Torchlight Procession on Sunday, leading organisers to close Calton Hill. Just over 10,000 people were allowed onto the hill before it was closed.