Hogmanay (Scots: [ˌhoɡməˈneː], Scottish English: (HOG-mə-NAY) is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner.
Hogmanay is a world known NYE street party celebration in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland. Having been on my bucket list for years, I was finally ready to give up a year of High heels and expensive club tickets for my scarf and boots for the event listed as one of the “top 100 things to do before you die.” With festivities lasting over 3 days from the 30th Dec it’s worth an extra day or two to get the full experience.
Arriving into Waverley station we didn’t have far to walk to our hotel Travelodge Rose Street, which was so convenient for the city centre as you are walking distance from Princes street and Edinburgh Castle. When I was researching my trip I read about something on the Edinburghs Hogmanay website about a torchlight procession which I wanted to participate in. For a reasonable £4 you could purchase a torch (A candle on a stick) to walk with, however participate is free even without the torch purchase The walk leads you from the starting location (can change yearly) along Princes Street to Waterloo Place up to Carlton Hill, where the finale sets the sky alight with a warm up firework session to the main even on the 31st. It’s a pretty cool experience and have never done anything like it so if you are around make sure to take part.
Onto the main event on the 31st Dec, The street party officially opens at 9pm but access in the City centre is restricted from the early afternoon and is a ticketed event. Purchasable from the website above, they are approx £!5 per person, and are needed for entry at the gates. Now once your in, your in. Alcohol is allowed and you are able to bring your own, however there is no glass in the event areas, There is so much happening its fantastic, there’s live music, street performers, funfair rides, ice skating, food stalls and bars set up…there’s plenty to keep you busy. We settled on a bottle of Vodka Tango and the REW1ND3R stage which was a brilliant set by Hot Tub Time Machine with music from 1954 to the most recent chart toppers and really got the crowd going, I’m a massive fan of the Dj’s now and would love to see them again… Maybe at Sydney festival if they play again 😉
We didn’t move from the stage all night and in fact it worked in our favour as the stage is located at the top of The Mound (Street) we had a great view of the midnight fireworks.Singing Auld Lang Syne (A well known Scottish poem to bid farewell to the old year at the stroke of midnight) surrounded by strangers was the highlight of my evening and a memory I won’t forget.
After a lie in recovering we woke on the 1st off to take part in another free event in the city(At the time of post), “Your Lucky Day” a scavenger hunt over the city with a difference. Pre registration for the event is required and can be done of the Edinburghs Hogmany website. At the starting location we were given 2 dice and had to roll to get our next destinations location. It was a really well thought out activity and is a great way for visitors to see the city. By rolling the dice we were given a card with a map to the next destination where there would be some form of free event, from Choir singing to dancing shows to free tea and scones. The event changes every years with the production staff always coming up with something new, even having done it before I’d be signing up for it when I visit again!