Hogmanay's New Year "First-Footing" started with the legacy of a tall, dark stranger appearing on the doorstep at midnight ... More
Hogmanay's New Year "First-Footing" started with the legacy of a tall, dark stranger appearing on the doorstep at midnight brandishing a lump of coal, which means good fortune for the new year. Since such a meeting was unlikely, locals started visiting each other's houses with food, coal and the odd alcoholic beverage for a party. Today the celebration culminates at "the bells" at midnight with a fireworks display over the Edinburgh Castle. There is also a program of events on New Year's Day, including a "Loony Dook" plunge into the Forth, a Triathlon, and street theatre. See website for yearly details.
It was a amazing the firework show was no other and the atmosphere and energy of the crowd is unbelievable. It was the perfect way to bring in the new year. Be warned though there is a very large crowd.
Scottish New Year (Hogmanay) in Edinburgh is supposed to be one of the top five parties in the world and it is. Last year, 2003, the Royal Bank Street Party was cancelled (gasp! SOB!) at 11.15pm, much to the disgust, anger and disappointment of freezing-our-butts-off, party-hearty people there from all over the world. But this year I hope will be different! :) This year I hope there won't be high winds (no fireworks from the Castle) or sleet (a member of staff fell off a scaffolding and was injured). May this year the Royal Bank Street Party go off without a hitch!
There is so much to do during Hogmanay, and it's not all just on New Year's Eve. That night, there is a concert in the gardens, as well as a concert of classical music at St Giles' Kirk. There is the Winter Wonderland, a carnival of rides for young and old, and an ice-skating rink.
Leading up to Hogmanay there are many things going on, such as parades, concerts, lectures, etc. You just have to be there! And nothing beats bunking in a hostel, meeting new friends, and going out on the town, having a drink with convivial buddies and chatting about anything and everything. The fun of Hogmanay isn't just the activities, it's the people you meet! (I'm an introvert, too, so that's a huge admission of how fun this is! LOL)
Even after Hogmanay, there are activities too, so you never have the excuse of being bored in Edinburgh during this time. Go and enjoy and remember to WEAR LAYERS AND WARM BOOTS!
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