The Hogmanay celebration is one of the biggest New Year’s celebrations in the world and is one of Edinburgh’s most cherished events. In 1996, the Hogmanay celebration was marked in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest New Year’s party in the world with roughly 400,000 people! Featuring a torchlit procession, live music among tons of other events leading up to the rendition of Auld Lang Syne at the stroke of midnight, it’s one of the most celebrated New Year’s Celebrations in the world and a fantastic time to visit the Scottish capital.
Travel to Edinburgh by Bus
The holiday season is one of the most exciting and busiest times of the year for the city of Edinburgh. The city is easily reachable by bus and is well connected to the national coach network, with companies like megabus and National Express offering regular connections from cities throughout the country. Be sure to dress warmly for outdoor activities and make sure you’re prepared for rain with a waterproof hooded waterproof jacket, poncho or umbrella.
For three days, the Hogmanay festival will include a variety of fun events to take part in. From a massive torchlight procession to live music concerts, a costumed parade, a number of family friendly activities, an expansive street party, traditional dancing and a beautiful firework display, there’s no shortage of options no matter what your tastes are.
Most of these events do require tickets, although there are always some free events to attend as well. Those who are looking for a more low key event can find multiple pubs, theatres, hotels and museums that offer their own Hogmanay celebrations with dinner, drinks, dancing and live entertainment.
The History of Hogmanay
Hogmanay derives from the Scottish Gaelic word for New Year’s Eve. There is much speculation about the linguistic origin of the world, with some thinking its roots are French while others believe it comes from Norse or Anglo-Saxon origins. Many believe that the traditional Hogmanay festivities were brought to Scotland by invading Vikings back in the 8th and 9th centuries. The Viking influence is most visible in Shetland, where the New Year is still referred to as Yules.
Historically, Hogmanay has been the biggest celebration in Scotland, with nearly 400 years of not celebrating Christmas, due to the Protestant Reformation and the proclamation of Christmas as a Popish or Catholic festival that needed to be banned. Until the 1950s, people in Scotland celebrated the New Year in lieu of Christmas, exchanging presents with family and friends.