Edinburgh knows how to welcome the New Year. For three days, they throw one of the world’s biggest parties filled with music, adventure, and more than enough fireworks. I returned to Scotland to participate in #blogmanay campaign following last year’s Hogmanay in celebration in Inverness. For this year, I was standing on the streets of Edinburgh with tens of thousands of party people. From the Torchlight Procession to hourly fireworks until the midnight, it was an extravaganza! Here’s what happened at this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay officially kicked off with the majestic Torchlight Procession. People parade down the main streets of Edinburgh holding torches followed by vikings. Yes, Up Helly Aa’ Vikings and massed pipes & drums led the way of the procession. I finally got to meet them face-to-face this year. (I waited one year for this opportunity!) It’s truly an amazing scene to see a moving sea of orange glows. Also, it warms up the air very quickly. The Torchlight Procession ended with beautiful fireworks at Waterloo Place and Calton Hill.
Recently Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party was highlighted as one of the ‘Top 100 things to do before you die’ in the ‘Discovery Channel – Top 25 World Travel Experiences’. Now I can tick it off the list.
It’s unbelievable to see all the people who filled the streets. It was such a mellow and peaceful and bam! Not an inch to step in. There were several stage set ups with different themes. All had great lineups of bands and DJs. Mainly this year we had Twin Atlantic, Young Fathers, The Twilight Sad, and more. One of the world’s biggest outdoor parties was framed by the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
It was impossible to move around among the long line of people and security blocks (kudos to everyone who kept the city and people safe by the way), but the safety line (and the press pass) saved the day. But most of all, the biggest fun was the amazing Hot Dub Time Machine. He turned back time, and rocked 80’s and 90’s biggest hit from Michael Jackson to Tina Turner to Cyndi Lauper. I don’t know what all the 20 year-olds were jumping up and down about, but it was amazing!
The talented Lily Allen opened the Concert in Gardens this year. The ABBA cover band Bjorn Again and Soul II Soul performed as well. The concert was one of ‘many’ highlights of the Hogmanay, and it’s the best place to be during the midnight moments. Edinburgh prepared hourly fireworks on the new year’s eve from 9pm till midnight, and the last and biggest one happens on the Edinburgh Castle. In the Gardens, you’ll feel the sensation of almost swallowed by the most amazing fireworks ever!
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay continues on the New Year’s day. As I already mentioned, I made a loony decision to jump in the water, fully clothed. The Loony Dook, literally means ‘lunatic dip’, is a Scottish tradition and charity event that started in 1986 as a joke but now it’s one of the main events of Hogmanay celebration. Go to South Queensferry on the New Year’s Day for the amazing scene and some New Year’s inspiration!
These are just a few highlights of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. You can see the full program on their website Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.
- Hike up to Salisbury Crags and Arthur’s Seat
- Visit National Museum of Scotland
- Learn about the world of Scotch Whisky at Scotch Whisky Experience
- See the Edinburgh Castle up close and view Edinburgh’s nightscapes
- Meet street performers on the Royal Mile
#blogmanay is brought to you by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and is supported by ETAG, EventScotland, VisitS