There are few nations around the world that celebrate the New Year as the Scottish do. The Scottish even have their own name for it: Hogmanay. There are many discussions around where the term originally came from. Some suggest the word may have Scandinavian routes whilst others suggest it may be French or Flemish. Wherever the term came from, the celebration of Hogmanay is a rich part of Scottish tradition and an experience not to be missed.
The capital city, Edinburgh, puts on a display that rivals all others. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has become so popular that it is not just about the evening of the 31st of December. It is now an official 3-day event. Revellers start arriving in Edinburgh after Christmas, and by New Year the city is at full capacity. Visitors must pre-book to avoid disappointment.
The annual torchlight procession takes place on the 29th of December each year. This event signifies the beginning of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations, where thousands of people take to the streets bearing fire-lit torches to march through the city centre.
Events at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay
The main Edinburgh Hogmanay event happens on the evening of the 31st of December. This ticketed event takes place in Princes Street Gardens and along Princes Street. Several stages host national and international artists and dance bands, and, of course, it would not be a Scottish Hogmanay without a ceilidh. To signify the end of the year, the Lone Piper plays from the battlements of Edinburgh Castle in the minutes leading up to midnight. The midnight bells are brought in with an unforgettable fireworks display choreographed to music against the magnificent backdrop of Castle Rock and the world-renowned Edinburgh Castle.
For the brave-hearted, head to South Queensferry on New Year’s Day for the Loony Dook. The Loony Dook is an annual event. It is a chance to leave the previous year behind by taking a swim in the freezing waters of the Firth of Forth under the world-famous Fourth Rail Bridge. This event now raises significant money for various charities.
Edinburgh Hogmanay Accommodation
Accommodation in Edinburgh is at full capacity during Hogmanay celebrations, so it is essential to book in advance. The convenient Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh is located in the heart of the Royal Mile, near Edinburgh Castle and only 10 minutes from Princes Street Gardens. This stylish 4-star hotel offers premier guest services, making it the ideal accommodation for any Edinburgh Hogmanay celebration and a New Year to remember.