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Hogmanay 2021 Edinburgh – Taking You Into The New Year

For millions of people around the world, New Year’s Eve is a significant event, however, it is most significant in Scotland, where it is known as Hogmanay.

What is Hogmanay?

New Year’s celebrations in Scotland are known as Hogmanay. The origin of the name is unknown, however, it is thought to be derived from the French word ‘hoginane,’ which means ‘gala day.’ Following Mary, Queen of Scots’ return to Scotland from France in 1561, it is supposed to have become commonly used.

The Hogmanay celebrations span three days and take place all over Scotland, starting at the end of December and concluding on the 2nd of January. Unlike the rest of the UK, Scotland has two days off after the celebrations, whereas the rest of the UK just has one on New Year’s Day.

How to celebrate Hogmanay this year

Torchlight Procession – 30th December

Torchlight Procession Hogmanay at Edinburgh
Torchlight Procession Hogmanay at Edinburgh

As you journey through the illuminated core of Edinburgh’s Old Town, you’ll be escorted by fire and light installations. A beautiful and unforgettable family-friendly event concluding in Holyrood Park’s historic setting. You will be asked to light a slow-burning candle when you arrive at the park, which will eventually form an image during the course of the event. The procession will take place between 4 and 9 p.m, allowing visitors and locals alike to have a safe and enjoyable journey through the city.

Party at the Bells: Street Access – 31st December

Hogmanay Street celebration
Hogmanay Street celebration

Basement Jaxx (DJ Set), supported by BBC Radio 1 DJ Arielle Free will be streamed onto the street through a series of screens, allowing you to party beneath the stars. Dance late into the night as you ring in the year 2022 in style. Prepare to be thrilled by Close-Act Theatrical, one of the world’s best street theatre organisations, as they animate the street while you party at the bells. The amazing fireworks will be back at Edinburgh Castle at midnight.

Loony Dook – 1st January

The Loony Dook on New Year's Day in South Queensferry
The Loony Dook on New Year’s Day in South Queensferry

South Queensferry’s Loony Dook maintains its New Year’s Day tradition. Dippers in fancy dress, scantily clad or even fully clothed from the night before will brave the chill in the shadow of the Forth Bridges to raise money for charities while shaking off their Hogmanay hangover. As part of the Dookers’ Parade, Dookers will march the length of South Queensferry High Street before plunging into the cold Firth of Forth. Spectators are invited to cheer on the Dookers from a variety of vantage locations along the course or on the beach. There are a number of pubs, cafes, and restaurants in South Queensferry that are open on New Year’s Day.

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