HOGMANAY IN SCOTLAND’S CAPITAL – A BUCKET LIST MUST DO
By Robbie Mackay
In Scotland we like to do things properly. We’re immensely proud, patriotic, passionate, auburn haired, rosy cheeked, wear our heart on our sleeve, warm hearted kinda folk! We belt out Auld Lang Syne likes its going out of fashion and the “first foot” in the house after midnight should be a dark male, and he should bring with him symbolic pieces of coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and a wee dram of Whisky. You could say we have a ‘thing’ for New Year. As an enthusiastic ‘Edinburgher’ I may be labeled bias by suggesting that spending New Years Eve in Scotland’s capital – Edinburgh, is simply spectacular. But it really is the truth! Hogmanay (a Gaelic word for the last day of the year) is one of the largest New Year’s celebrations in the world.
The last time I was in Scotland for New Year was back in 2015 and that year Scotland’s second largest city attracted over 75,000 people for the 2 day celebrations. Though us Scottish have been celebrating this day for centuries, the modern interpretation with musical acts, a torchlight procession, multiple fireworks displays and a large street party in Princess Street and it’s famous gardens, dates back only to 1992.
Celebrations usually begin on the 30th of December with a torchlight procession through the city (8,000 people took part the year I last attended), led by the Up Helly Aa Vikings from Shetland, that culminates in a large bonfire and fireworks display. Then, on the 31st of December, the streets close to traffic and fill with people, as musicians start performing on multiple stages throughout the city in a lead-up to a massive fireworks display lighting up the skyline – erupting over the famous Edinburgh Castle
If that wasn’t enough, there’s a carnival laid on that begins days before New Year’s festivities and ends days after.
I could continue to tell you about the event itself, the Malt Whisky I drank, the music I danced to and the lassies I did a Highland Jig with – but you simply need to see it to get a wee flavour of just how large and special the event is! Treat yourself and your family to a Hogmanay with the Scottish – A warm welcome with a broad smile is always guaranteed – no one does it like us. Turkish Airlines fly daily from Ercan to Edinburgh Via Istanbul. Tickets from £169 return. www.turkishairlines.com