Hogmanay - Scotland celebrates New Year

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  • Masses of fireworks explode high over the heads of thousands of people watching a concert stage
    The world-famous Hogmanay Fireworks bring in the new year with a bang (image courtesy of Unique Events)
  • People jumping about in shallow water, some dressed in Santa costumes with a large cantilever bridge in the background
    The literally breathtaking Loony Dook (image courtesy of Unique Events)
  • Crowds of people fill a brightly lit, wide avenue far into the distance on a wintery night
    The world's best Street Party in central Edinburgh (image courtesy of Unique Events)
  • Crowds watch a procession of people swinging flaming fireballs on chains as they walk along a darkened street
    The Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony

Hogmanay is what the Scots call New Year's Eve - 31 December - and the arrival of the new year is always celebrated in style across the country.

In the big cities, you'll find large-scale open air concerts, street parties and spectacular fireworks welcoming 'the bells' (when the clocks chime midnight). Elsewhere, the celebrations are all about community and local events such as dinner dances, ceildhs or just parties held in neighbours' houses which get visited in turn as 'first footers' go from house to house to be the first to wish everyone a good new year.

Fire festivals

Hogmanay and the new year is also celebrated with a number of traditional fire festivals that hark back to a more primitive age. The most spectacular of these include the Biggar Bonfire, Comrie's Flambeaux Procession and perhaps the most famous, the Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay

Edinburgh's Hogmanay is one of the biggest and best New Year celebrations in the world. Things get underway on 30 December with the spectacular Torchlight Procession. Join thousands of torch carriers as they create a river of fire from the historic Royal Mile to the son et lumiére and fireworks finale on Calton Hill.

On Hogmanay itself, the action moves to Princes Street in the very heart of the city of Edinburgh beneath the spectacular backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. Around 80,000 people party their way into the new year at the Concert in the Gardens featuring incredible live music and entertainment, DJ’s, giant screens, outdoor bars and of course, the world-famous Edinburgh Hogmanay Midnight Fireworks on the castle ramparts.

And if you need something to clear your head the morning after, why not take part in the (literally) breathtaking Loony Dook, the annual splash in the River Forth at South Queensferry. Take part in the Dookers Parade through the High Street before taking the plunge in the freezing Forth with the iconic Forth Bridges as a backdrop. And don't forget your fancy dress!

Whatever the scale of the event and wherever it's held, Scotland's Hogmanay celebrations guarantee a warm welcome and more new friends than you ever knew you had, all in a frenzy of goodwill!

Tickets are now on sale for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations.

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