Edinburgh is host to the largest Hogmanay celebration in the world. It has been dubbed one of the ‘Top 100 Things to do Before You Die’ and with a range of events and activities for absolutely everyone, it’s hardly surprising.
We love celebrating Hogmanay here at Edinburgh Glass, so we’ve put together a list of the things you need to know about this year’s celebration, including top tips and the best ways to enjoy it. For a full list of what’s on, visit the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay website.
Something for Everyone
Hogmanay in Edinburgh is a celebration of universal appeal. Whether you’re celebrating with little ones, as a couple or going solo, there is a myriad of events taking place throughout the city to catch the fancy of anyone and everyone.
Below are some top tips from Edinburgh locals and travel bloggers on how to enjoy yourself this Hogmanay…
Follow in the footsteps of Vikings…
Arrive early to take advantage of some of the acts and festivities leading up to the big event.
The Torchlight Procession kicks off Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations every year on the 30th December. Even if you’re not around for the 31st, the Torchlight Procession is a great way to immerse yourself in the spirit of Hogmanay, joining thousands of people carrying torches through the city to Calton Hill, finishing with a fabulous fireworks display. Usually accompanied by Shetland’s Up Helly Aa vikings, it is not an event to be missed.
Dave from Travel Dave said:
‘It’s a wonderful feeling to be united amongst other torch bearers who are taking part in the night time celebration.’
Arrive early to register and collect your torch, ready to join in with the ‘happy, celebratory atmosphere’, perfect for the whole family, according to Lauren from You Need to Visit.
Something for the brave…
According to The Travel Hack, you’ll need ‘a thick skin, or a heightened sense of adventure’ to brave the freezing waters of the River Forth for the annual New Year’s Day ‘Loony Dook’. Hundreds of daring souls take the plunge each year to raise money for a variety of UK charities.
If paddling around an icy river doesn’t exactly sound like your cup of tea, why not explore the city and take in some of the other festivities. Even for Edinburgh locals, walking around this majestic city and visiting some truly iconic places is sure to reignite your love for all that is Edinburgh.
Bring your own…
Rather than queuing up to fork out for expensive drinks at the festival, revellers are permitted to bring in their own drinks in. Just remember, no glass allowed. You can bring in cans and plastic bottles under 500ml.
Edinburgh Hogmanay is not a time to dress in your finest get-ups. We recommend dressing sensibly for the city’s festivities. That means comfortable shoes that won’t slide over slippery cobbles and will withstand hours of dancing, jumping and walking around the city streets. It will be cold – so don’t forget to bring a warm coat, gloves and a scarf. If you’re joining in the Torchlight Procession, beware of dripping wax and holes from stray sparks – we’d suggest leaving your best coat and gloves at home if you’re not willing to take the risk. Check out these suggestions from Finding the Universe.
Grab your dancing shoes…
Don’t miss the opportunity to dance the night away at the Ceilidh under the Castle. Make some new friends and throw away your inhibitions as you dance your heart out to some brilliant traditional ceilidh music. Fun and laughter you are sure to find. Just wear comfortable shoes!
Planning on attending the Street Party, Concert in the Gardens or Torchlight Procession? These events usually get booked up in advance so be sure to reserve your tickets online to be in the best position to see the superb stage acts and riveting fireworks.
Celebrating with little ones…
For those with children, there are plenty of events and activities you can take part in as a family. Bairns Afore begins at 5 pm on the 31st, featuring family-friendly entertainment and a fireworks display. Enjoy a fun sing-a-long with live band Massaoke in West Princes Street Gardens. The kids will love it, not to mention some of the grownups, too! Fireworks start from 6 pm, giving you and the family plenty of time to get home to bed before the midnight bells start ringing.
This year will also see the Baby Loves Disco’s Big Hogmanay Bash, a few hours of day clubbing, dancing to classic hits and crowdpleasers with your wee ones. Suitable for children up to 6 years.
On New Year’s Day, First-Footers Family Ceilidh takes place from 12:30 pm in McEwan Hall. The family-friendly event is free, although unfortunately this year’s event is sold out. If you’re lucky, however, you may be able to nab some extra tickets from the box office.
If a big celebration isn’t your thing…
Perhaps the crowds and noise of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations sound like a bit too much for you this year. If this is the case, but you’d still like to engage in some good old-fashioned Hogmanay traditions, why not meet up with a few friends and neighbours for some traditional ‘first-footing’. Tradition states that the first person over a house’s threshold after midnight brings luck to the household. Bring a bottle of your favourite drink and spend time celebrating with those closest to you.
However you decide to spend this Hogmanay, here at Edinburgh Glass we hope you have a fantastic time and from all of us, Happy Hogmanay! Bring on 2019!
Sarah Wirth is the content writer for Edinburgh Glass & Glazing and updates our blog regularly with helpful advice and new information.