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    There are few better places to be than Edinburgh on New Year’s Eve. The Scottish capital hosts the annual Hogmanay over 3 days, from December 30 through New Year’s Day. Taking place throughout the city centre, it includes a traditional torchlit procession, concerts, street performers, and one of the most impressive NYE fireworks displays in the world – Edinburgh Castle serves as a magnificent backdrop. As the bells strike midnight, Auld Lang Syne, penned by Scotland’s own Robert Burns, takes on special significance with people from across the globe joining hands as it's sung through the streets.

    The party continues until well after the sun comes up. Those who stick around for New Year’s Day can take part in all sorts of activities. These range from sled dog racing and running down the Royal Mile to the Loony Dook where participants leap into the frigid waters of the River Forth.

    What are the highlights of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay?

    Do some planning ahead to ensure you’ll be able to experience Hogmanay’s highlights. The events take place across Edinburgh, but the main celebrations are held in the central part of the city. All major events are within walking distance from another, other than the Loony Dook, held in nearby South Queensferry.

    The torchlight procession gets the party started on 30th December when thousands will be marching through Edinburgh’s heart with flaming torches, creating a ‘river of fire’ along historic Royal Mile, stretching to Holyrood Park. On New Year’s Eve, dance the night away at Concert in the Gardens to live music, DJs and other entertainment before admiring the famous fireworks on the castle ramparts. Don’t leave before the national sing-along of Auld Lang Syne. Then clear your head in the morning by taking the plunge in the Loony Dook.

    What is the history of Hogmanay?

    While today’s modern Hogmanay festival began in 1993, the traditional celebration is said to date back many centuries before, brought to Scotland by the invading Vikings during the 8th- and 9th-centuries. The Norsemen were known for their love of a good party and paid particular attention to the arrival of the Winter Solstice. The word ‘Hogmanay’ has been around since about the 17th-century, referring to a New Year’s gift or New Year’s Eve itself.

    The fireworks display and torchlight procession today is reminiscent of ancient Scottish Hogmanay pagan parties centuries ago. Traditions involved the lighting of bonfires and tossing torches. People would also dress up in the hides of cattle, running around the village getting hit with sticks. The hides were wrapped around the sticks as well, ignited to produce a smoke believed to ward off evil spirits. This ‘smoking stick’ was referred to as a Hogmanay.

    Insider tips to help you on your visit to Hogmanay  

    As Hogmanay is one of the world’s most popular New Year’s celebrations, you’ll want to plan your trip well in advance. Tickets are required for most events, including participation in the torchlight procession, the Street Party, Concert in the Gardens, New Year’s Day concerts and the Loony Dook, as well as most of the children and family events. They can be purchased online or in-person at an Edinburgh box office. The Lonny Dook sells out quickly, so if that’s a priority, get your tickets as soon as you know you’ll be attending.

    Book your travel arrangements as far ahead as possible too, including flights, trains, accommodation, car hires, etc. to avoid disappointment. Prices are typically at their highest of the year over the holidays. Booking early, at least 4 to 6 months in advance, will give you more options in your price range.

    Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

    Poloha: Princess Street, Edinburgh EH1 1QB, UK

    Telefon: +44 (0)131 510 0395

    K.C. Dermody | Přispěvatel

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