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New Year's in Edinburgh Means Hogmanay

The Best New Year's Party in the World



Candlelit Concert at St. Giles

Courtesy of Edinburgh Hogmanay

Torchlight Procession and finale fireworks

Courtesy of Edinburgh Hogmanay

The Loony Dook

Courtesy of Edinburgh Hogmanay

Edinburgh's New Year's celebration, Hogmanay, is legendary. This three to four-day long 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, some years, even the family dog! (Dogmanay)

Celebrations begin on December 29 or 30th. Here's what to expect:

  • 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,  up to Calton Hill, where wicker and willow effigies are spectacularly burned. In 2012, about 35,000 people took part. Torches cost about £10/$18 (£8/$13 in advance) with the proceeds going to local charities. The procession is a free Edinburgh New Year's spectacle and something the whole farmily can participate in.
    Read more about the Torchlight Procession
  • The Keilidh - A giant, open air Edinburgh New Year's celebration of traditional Scottish music and dance. The Keilidh arena has what's been termed a "massive" outdoor dancefloor as well as a bar and food village. The Keilidh usually starts about 8p.m. and, in addition to traditional music, singing and dance, often includes comedy and storytelling. It can also include traditional music from other cultures. In 2007, the event included American line dancing and Keilidh-oke, pluss massed pipes and drums. The entertainment is different every year, and tickets (in 2013), cost £37/$60
  • The Street Party - A hugh pop concert on at least four stages around the city center, 12 giant screens and loads of fireworks. In 2012/2013, 80,000 saw in the new year at the Street Party. Party passes fpr 2013/2014 cost, £20/$32. Find out more.
  • Concert in the Gardens -  A major ticketed event on a specially constructed stage in Princes Street Gardens. In 2013/14, the Pet Shop Boys were scheduled to headline with tickets costing £40/$64 and £45/$72. The concert ends with spectacular fireworks. Read more about it.
  • Candlelit Concert - Something for the grown-ups at St. Giles Cathedral. In 2012/2013 it was a baroque concert featuring Bach and Vivaldi. The concert program is usually announced sometime in November and tickets (in 2013) cost £16/$26. Find out more.
  • The Loony Dook - Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., anyone daft 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. Read about the Loony Dook.
  • Edinburgh New Year's Day 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. See what it's all about.
  • Fireworks, Fireworks and more Fireworks - Some of the most spectacular fireworks displays in Britain - and lots of them - are always part of the fiery spectacles of Edinburgh Hogmanay.
  • Find a place to stay in Edinburgh and get a great rate

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