New Year in Edinburgh: Hogmanay

Where else in the world has its own unique festival to welcome in the New Year? Nowhere as far as I know! Hogmanay is fantastically unique, and so much fun. With 75,000 party goers, it is the largest street party in the world. They have a fireworks display on the hour, every hour until midnight. They create the largest auld land syne on the globe. Sounds fun right? Well it certainly was!The atmosphere was fantastic. The street party, concert in the gardens and candle-lit concert in the church all helped close off the end of 2012 in style. Not being the most enthusiastic person for nights out clubbing, I thought the street party the ideal place to welcome in 2013.

Getting dressed up in my thermals and woolly hat, somehow didn’t feel quite right on New Years Eve. Where were the high heels and the skimpy dress? But for me, standing out in the streets of Edinburgh, joining in the celebrations in the freezing Scottish weather was way better than going to a nightclub.

The street party brought together all types of people; tourists and locals, elderly, families, youths, groups and much more. As if everybody had been forever friends rather than strangers, people chatted and danced whilst waiting for the clock to strike midnight.

New Year in Edinburgh: Hogmanay

There were areas to dance, food stalls selling hotdogs and haggis burgers, and bars scattered along the streets. Fun fair rides lit up the night sky as they flung people around in amusement. The ferris wheel carried people up high to enable some of the last views of historic Edinburgh in 2012. Throughout the night the crowds became more and more dense, filling the streets like beans in a tin. The queues for the toilets were 10 deep and involved lots of pushing and shoving and drunken banter.

The hourly fireworks were a teasing taste of the fantastic display we would be presented with at 12pm. Each display brought more anticipation and more excitement and as the chimes of midnight welcomed in the New Year the real explosion of fireworks began. The floor vibrated with the echoes of bangs across the Scottish countryside. The sky was magnificently lit up in pinks and blues and greens. The castle, sitting proudly atop the hill and beneath the display, created the perfect setting for this Scottish New Years Eve.

After the fireworks finale everybody grabbed hands, friend or foe, and began to sing the traditional auld land syne. Never had this meant so much to me as it did now; I was in the country in which this worldwide tradition originated from. Everybody danced and sang and were merry, alcohol induced or otherwise.

After welcoming in 2013 the extensive crowds began to flood into the surrounding streets, bars, clubs, taxis and homes. That was the end of 2012, and Edinburgh certainly knew how to welcome in 2013 with a bang! Happy New Year!