For someone that travels as much as I do, it’s very shocking to know that I have NEVER travelled nor done anything exciting for New Years. Well this year that was going to change as I was invited to Edinburgh, Scotland for their annual New Years celebration of Hogmanay!
Hogmanay is one of the world’s top festivals, so I could not be more excited to tell you all about it! Here are some of the many activities I took part in, and if you go next year, you will as well.
This is the starting event for the three days of Hogmanay festivities. Here over 35,000 people come out to watch the 8000 torch carriers march through the streets of Edinburgh.
The front is led by a group of vikings wielding, literally, the largest torches I’ve ever seen. (These are legitimate torches, the ones you can purchase are smaller “people safe” size.)
They are followed by the general public, aka me.
My fellow #blogmanay blogger Hannah managed to purchase a torch for us, they are about £10 but they limit the torches to around 8000 and they do sell out, so make sure to buy your’s asap!
More pictures with our torch, which we eventually ended up giving away to a lovely family since it’s a little bit challenging taking photos with one hand. Although, we did enjoy it for the duration of time we had it!
The precession starts around 7:00pm and lasts around a hour. You start at the George IV Bridge, continue along Princes Street and end on Calton Hill to a giant bonfire and epic fireworks display.
New Years Eve Street Party
This is the big deal, the main event. It starts around 7:00pm and goes to 1:00am. Here there are multiples stages all around Princes Street, in the gardens, and some of the surrounding areas.
Some TIPS for ensuring a really great time:
- It’s outside, it’s mostly likely gonna be cold, so bundle up.
- Choose where you want to be, aka, look at the schedule and know where you want to be at midnight, because popular events and stages will fill up quickly. So plan and make your way towards that stage about 1 hour before the show (if’s it’s anytime after 10:00pm).
- Make friends!! Don’t just socialize with the people you have come with, enjoy the company of your fellow Hogmanaiers!
- You can bring your own alcohol. Yup, just make sure it’s in a plastic bottle only. There is also plenty of places to buy on site, as well as food booths to soak up the alcohol.
- Get your cameras ready for fireworks, and I mean EPIC fireworks. They go all out, so prepare yourself!
So after a crazy night of partying, what better way to celebrate the new year than to jump into freezing cold water? Oh, and in costume. That is the Loony Dook, basically a lot of fun for a lot of crazy people.
It takes place at Queensferry in the River Forth, in the shadow of the world-famous Forth Rail Bridge (as pictured).
Now if you are not coming down with the Flu from the night before (i.e. me) at around 1:00pm you would be putting on your craziest costume, or lack of costume, and then parading down the streets of town towards the waterfront.
This takes around 15 minutes, and then it’s dook time!!! From what I could see I would say the average duration of time in the water was around 1-5 minutes.
Afterwards, hot showers were in order and either bed, or more events! As there were plenty of other activities for the non freezing-cold-water lovers out there as well.
All in all, for my first ever New Years event celebration, I do believe I picked the very best! Hogmanay was honestly a really great time, and surly one to remember!
Now these were just a few of the many events happening at Hogmanay, to find out more and join in for next years celebration visit: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay
#blogmanay is brought to you by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and is supported by ETAG, EventScotland, VisitS