Currently ‘umming and ahhing’ over where to bring in the New Year?
No need. Edinburgh is always the first port of call for Hogmanay (that’s New Year’s Eve to all you non-Scots) celebrations – and with good reason.
If you’re wondering why you should be planning your festivities in Auld Reekie, then here are 14 reasons it’s best for Hogmanay.
1. You can join a torchlight procession
The end of any Christmas hang-ups and the beginning of the Hogmanay holiday feel. The event on December 30 sees a staggering 35,000 participants take part in a torchlit march through the city centre. Despite there being a huge number of happy torch-bearing participants, the event has a strange ethereal feel and is actually quite touching. You can apply to be one of the marchers, or just enjoy the scenes from the street.
2. You can (still) take in some of the Christmas attractions
If you’re not ready to give up on the yuletide celebrations just yet, then the Christmas Wheel, Star Flyer and Ice rinks are all still open until January 4, although the European Market will have made way for the Keilidh on the Mound by Hogmanay.
3. You can gawp at the fireworks
‘Gawp’ truly being the most suitable world. The ‘Burgh goes big on firework displays when it comes to Hogmanay, which will have even the most blasé onlooker gazing on in amazement. The street party provides the front-row seat, but the Meadows is also a great spot for skyline viewing.
4. You can hear some exciting sounds
The street parties always boasts an eclectic musical line-up and this year keeps up that trend. Alongside pop acts such as Lily Allen and Soul II Soul there are also the Mercury prize-winning Young Fathers (above) and Australian ABBA Show, Bjorn Again. Basically, if you’re seeing something that you’re not into, then give it a minute and something more to your taste will come along.
5. You can get the international feel
Not only does Hogmanay attract the great and the good from across the British isles but it’s also a truly international crowd. The New Year celebrations pull in a crowd from more than 60 countries.
6. You can birl through the bells
The outdoor Keilidh at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay takes place in its own arena with its own bars, food outlets, ceilidh stage and outdoor dance floor. Always a sell-out (get your tickets now), the Keilidh on the Mound will get you dancing to the best in traditional Scottish music, this year from the Sensational Jimi Shandrix Experience, Hugh MacDiarmid’s Haircut and The Smashers. Don’t worry if you don’t know the moves – there’s a Ceilidh Caller and plenty of friendly folk to help you out. Birl through the bells and bring in 2015 beneath the Midnight Fireworks from Edinburgh Castle.
7. You can take a magical mystery tour
Come along to one of the two Home:Lands to check in and start your journey around Scot:Lands. Both Home:Lands are equally central and it really doesn’t matter which one you select – you’ll be given a choice when you pre-register, or book your tickets and your email confirmation will tell you where to come. You’ll be asked to spin a compass and this will randomly select your Boarding Card which will direct you to your first destination, or Land. Enjoy your magical mystery tour of the very best in Scotland’s culture and arts – all brought to Edinburgh for just one day.
8. You can go time travelling
DJ Tom Loud has performed his Hot Dub Time Machine all over the world – to 30,000 people at the Sydney Festival and to sell out audiences at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the last few years – but never has he done a gig like this one! The largest ever – an audience of 75,000 Hogmanay revellers – and the longest ever – four hours – of floor filling, rocking tunes in a time travelling session from 1954 to 2015 will get the World Famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party jumping. Come and join the fun.
9. You can get a taste of HebCelt
Held every July on the Hebridean Island of Lewis, HebCelt is one of the most atmospheric festivals on the planet, and celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015. Artists who will be representing this wonderful festival at this one-off event in Edinburgh include Rura, Lori Watson, Iain Morrison, Gaelic singer Catriona Watt, alongside Jane Hepburn (fiddle), Craig Muirhead (keyboards), Cameron Drummond (pipes), Alasdair Maclean (accordion), and DC Macmillan (percussion), in their new band Malin. Stay for the Closing Festival Ceilidh.
10. You can dine on fine food
We’re all exploring, but culinary stops are an important park of any city break. Edinburgh’s fine selection of foody hot-spots means that wherever you may be located in the city. you’re not far from a great restaurant, café or bar for a delicious pit-stop. Consult our restaurants guide to get you started.
11. You can try one of the hundreds of great pubs and bars
If you can’t indulge throughout the festive season, then when can you? Edinburgh is the pub capital of the UK and has a whole host of bar stools and cold ales with your name on them. Looking for proof? Check our ‘proper’ pub guides parts one and two.
12. You can sit back and enjoy Edinburgh’s film culture
Edinburgh is well known for its love of film culture and this doesn’t stop during the Hogmanay festivities. Scotland Galore! at the Filmhouse will be marking 2015 with a retrospective through some of the finest films set in Scotland; including animated classic The Illusionist and recent comedy What We Did on Our Holiday. If you’re looking to discover the heart of Edinburgh, then it’s located within the cinema.
13. You can follow the bloggers’ tips
— Nomadic Samuel (@NomadicSamuel) November 25, 2014
Edinburgh’s New Year dominance is no secret. The city is alive with tweeters, Instagrammers and bloggers all capturing their moments and sharing them en mass. The #Blogmanay Twitter hashtag is a visual feast of what visitors can expect.
14. You can brave the Loony Dook
Looking for a hangover cure to soothe that post-celebration sore head? Then it’s best to up bright and early for the Loony Dook. Hundreds of fearless souls will heading down to the South Queensferry waters (by the iconic Forth Bridge) to for the first feel of the ocean of the 2015. Cold? Yes. Refreshing? Most definitely.
For full information on Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations, visit www.edinburghshogmanay.org
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