Edinburgh's New Year's celebration, Hogmanay, is legendary. This four-day long Edinburgh New Year's party kicks off with a dramatic torchlight procession and fire festival and continues with spectacle and celebration for every one in the family - including the family dog!
Celebrations begin on December 29. Here's what to expect:
- December 29 - The Torchlight Procession
Join the River of Fire. Collect a flaming, wax based torch and meet up with thousands of people - whole families take part - in Parliament Square at 6p.m. The procession winds through Edinburgh, led by Vikings, up to Calton Hill, where a Viking long ship as well as a wicker and willow effigy are spectacularly burned. In 2006, almost 20,000 people took part. Torches cost about Â£5 (Â£4 in advance) but the procession is a free Edinburgh New Year's spectacle.
Read more about the Torchlight Procession
Book a torch in advance
December 30 - The Night Afore
A giant, free open air Edinburgh New Year's Ceilidh (a traditional Celtic party) starts at 8p.m. on various stages and areas along George Street and all over Edinburgh. There is usually a Ceilidh band, story telling, comedy and other entertainment. Among the highlights for 2007:
- Entertainment on the Main Ceilidh Stage
- American line dancing and comedy on the Keilidh-oke Stage
- Scottish dancing, break dancing and more on the All Dancing Stage
- The Auchenshoogle Mad Village Dance in the Assembly Rooms
- Massed pipes and drums setting off from The Mound
December 31 - New Year's Eve
- Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party - Four free stages, 2 big screens, fireworks and hundreds of thousands of people. Street party passes cost Â£10 and can be purchased online
- Concert in the Gardens A major ticketed event on a specially constructed stage in Princes Street Gardens. To see in 2010, Madness was set to headline.
- Ceilidh in the Gardens A ticketed even in the East Princes Street Gardens and Mount Square, featuring traditional Celtic music and dance as well as Salsa, Latin-Celtic fusion, pipers, all sorts.
- The Hoog and Hoog Royale Another set of dance parties with Ceilidh bands and DJs in the Assembly Rooms and Queens Hall. These are ticketed events.
January 1- New Year's Day
- Feet First120 artists performing 13 different outdoor and street theatre works up and down the Royal Mile.
- Iron Kids Duathlon A run-bike-run event for 8 to 14 year olds. Free in Holyrood Park between 2 and 4 p.m.
- Edinburgh Bicycle Triathalon Fun event featuring many first timers who swim 400 meters, cycle 11 miles and run 3 1/2 miles. Starts at the Royal Commonwealth Pool at 12:30 and finishes in Holyrood Park.
- The Loony Dook Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., anyone mad enough to dress up in a funny costume and jump into the icy waters of the Firth of Fourth can have a splash off the Moorings, in South Queensferry, near the famous Forth Bridge. It's free but donations are usually collected for charity.