Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Scotland

Bringing in the New Year in Scotland is one for the bucket list! No other nation in the world celebrates the New Year with as much passion as we do in Scotland. In fact, our celebrations are legendry all across the world. Edinburgh’s New Year celebrations have been named world’s best ‘bucket list festival’, surpassing Munich’s Oktoberfest and Rio’s Carnival.

New Year’s Eve, or as we call it, Hogmanay, is that big night that marks the beginning of the new year. It’s an exciting, heart-warming event. Hogmanay is a huge deal in Scotland because Christmas was once banned by the Scottish Parliament for 400 years, only becoming a public holiday in Scotland again in 1958. So, Hogmanay became our main celebration and has remained a huge one ever since. Our celebrations are so huge that they are spread out over 3 days, with the fun kicking off on the 30th!

Street Party

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street party is spread out over the centre of the city, between the Old Town and New Town. There’s literally something for everyone, with food vendors, bars, and three main stages featuring a range of entertainment, from DJs and bands to comedians and acrobats. But the best part? You can bring your own booze on to the street! You’ll soon forget about the winter chill when your comfortably amongst the crowds awaiting the bells.


Is there a better way to welcome in the new year than by listening to live music by world famous musicians? Up to 75,000 people gather in Princes Street Gardens, where a headlining act will perform a whole set before and after midnight. Acts from previous years include The Pet Shop Boys, Madness, Lily Allen and Rag ‘n’ Bone Man. This year, award-winning DJ, Mark Ronson will take to the stage.


It wouldn’t be a celebration in Scotland without a ceilidh! Old friends and new friends dance the night away under Edinburgh Castle along to ceilidh classics performed by real Scottish ceilidh bands. You certainly won’t be too far away from a Ceilidh wherever you are in Edinburgh on Hogmanay, or anywhere in Scotland for that matter. If you are looking to experience a real traditional Scottish Ceilidh, Edinburgh Hogmanay is the place to be.

Torchlight Procession

The torchlight procession is quite a spectacular sight to see. Every year, usually on the 30th of December, torchbearers march through the city holding flamed torches alongside Viking performers playing pipes and drums. Why? The torchlight procession is a remembrance of ancient customs of Scottish Hogmanay parties many years ago, when bonfires would be lit, blazing tar barrels would be rolled down hills and torch tossing. The procession can also be traced further back to pre-Christian Viking festivals that celebrated the Winter Solstice. The reason for fire is because it is thought to be a symbol or rebirth and new beginnings.

Incredible fireworks display

Finally, when the clock strikes 12, the fireworks are off. When you witness the epic fireworks display set against the backdrop of the iconic Edinburgh Castle and hear the crowds sing Auld Lang Syne, we can guarantee you will feel a shiver down your spine, or maybe even a tear in the eye! Edinburgh’s fireworks display can be seen for miles as 4.5 tonnes of fireworks are fired out at the Castle.

There is really something for everyone to enjoy at Edinburgh Hogmanay. Does welcoming in the New Year in Edinburgh on your bucket list? Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.

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