Those of you who know me well know I would dearly love to live in Scotland. Since it isn’t happening in the next few weeks (though it could be in the next few years), here’s one of the ways I would like to spend New Year’s Eve/Day in the future: Celebrating Hogmanay!
The birthplace of “Auld Lang Syne” is also the home of Hogmanay (hog-mah-NAY), the rousing Scottish New Year’s celebration (the origins of the name are obscure). One of the traditions is “first-footing.” Shortly after midnight on New Year’s eve, neighbors pay visits to each other and impart New Year’s wishes. Traditionally, First foots used to bring along a gift of coal for the fire, or shortbread. It is considered especially lucky if a tall, dark, and handsome man is the first to enter your house after the new year is rung in. (yep, that would INDEED be fortunate for me!) The Edinburgh Hogmanay celebration is the largest in the country, and consists of an all-night street party. http://www.edinburghshogmanay.org/
EDINBURGH’S HOGMANAY 2012/13
Monday 30 December 2012 – Tuesday 1 January 2013
Edinburgh is the ‘Home of Hogmanay’ and each year welcomes the world to celebrate at one of the planet’s biggest New Year Parties. Three days of incredible events: theatre, music, dance and Street Party extravaganzas make the world famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations the only way to bring in the New Year.
On the opening night of the festival (30th Dec) join the warm embrace of the Torchlight Procession as it flickers through the city, radiating light through the winter darkness as thousands of torch carriers create a river of fire from the historic Royal Mile to the spectacular Son et Lumiere and fireworks finale on Calton Hill.
Then dance beneath the stars at one of three main ticketed events on the 31st December. The world famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party welcomes over 80,000 revelers to the ‘Home of Hogmanay’ and presents multiple live music stages throughout the city centre, headlining DJ sets, giant screens and one of the world’s greatest New Year fireworks displays. Set beneath the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, the Concert in the Gardens is ‘the music and fireworks spectacular’ and has attracted some of the world’s leading artists including Primal Scream, Biffy Clyro, Kasabian, Groove Armada, Franz Ferdinand and Madness to name but a few. Or if you want a truly Scottish Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, then birl through the bells at The Keilidh; a traditional outdoor ceilidh event set beneath the historic Edinburgh skyline.
But Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is more than just music and New Year fireworks, this festival is packed with free and ticketed entertainment surrounding the 31st December. The serene Candlelit Concert set in the magnificent surrounding of the Old Town’s St Giles’ Cathedral, plus a full exciting new programme of entertainment on New Year’s Day, alongside The Loony Dook; a New Year’s Day dip in the freezing waters of the Firth of Forth, ensure that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay continues to be voted as one of the top New Year’s experiences in the world.