Globally recognised as the biggest New Year’s street party in the world, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations draw hundreds of thousands of people from all over to party on down as the bells ring at midnight to indicate the coming of a new year.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay party has been officially organised since 1993 and has grown steadily in popularity every year since. 1996′s turnout of an enormous 300,000 (at least!) led to the event becoming ticketed, with a limit of 100,000 tickets being sold in advance. These tickets allow people entrance to Princes Street Gardens, where concerts and dances are held. However, everybody can still head to the adjoining Princes Street, one of Edinburgh’s most major roads, which is closed off overnight in order to accommodate the festivities.
As Scotland takes Hogmanay seriously, the Edinburgh street party is a fantastic way to get a little bit of the local culture while you party. Scottish traditions prevail at New Year and everybody tends to keep in mind that the feeling in the air is one of neighbourliness and solidarity: in short, you can expect to make many friends. As another Scottish tradition, known as first footing, involves making a trip to your neighbour’s home to present them with a New Year’s gift to bring prosperity over the coming year, you can be sure that those who can’t head on their first foot that night will be extra generous with their friendship.
There’s plenty of entertainment taking place too, especially at this time of year. Edinburgh lights up with New Year festivities and you can expect to find plenty of artwork, free events and concerts to take in. At the street party itself there are always bands playing on a large stage in Princes Street Gardens, as well as a ceilidh – a traditional Scottish dance where folk music is played and everybody joins in to dance together. These are incredibly fun and the dances can be learned on the spot as a caller guides you through the simple steps as the music begins.
And of course, when the big twelve o’ clock hits and the New Year arrives, fireworks fill the sky, illuminating the glorious Edinburgh skyline. Being positioned at the street party will ensure an amazing view of the castle and the fireworks and you can be sure of an awe-inspiring view.
You’ll still be reeling from the festivities when you finally make it back to your Edinburgh hotels but at least you’ll know you’ve welcomed in the new year in style at Edinburgh’s fantastic Hogmanay celebrations.