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Edinburgh Hogmanay: Everything you need to know

Published October 14th, 2015

Up to 150,000 people are expected to attend Hogmanay celebrations in Edinburgh during three days of events to welcome in the new year. Celebrations will begin with the Torchlight procession on December 30, which last year saw 30,000 people walk through the Scottish capital, and continue through to the 30th Loony Dook on New Year’s Day, which sees hundreds of people in fancy dress plunge into the freezing River Forth in view of the renowned bridges.

Biffy Clyro, the band that formed in Kilmarnock, will headline the sold-out main concert in Princes Street Gardens on New Year’s Eve, while other revellers can join the Street Party, with live bands and DJs in the city centre. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Fireworks will see in the new year at midnight on December 31. The celebrations, which have been overhauled this year, will also include a new Old Town Ceilidh that promises to combine traditional music, food and drink in the old part of the city.

Fireworks over Edinburgh castle. Picture: Shutterstock

Richard Lewis, Edinburgh city council's festivals and events champion, said: "The countdown to this New Year will have a distinctly Scottish feel, with scores of home-grown musical talent and the striking Old Town featuring as the setting for the new Old Town Ceilidh, where revellers will be tested to perform the longest Strip the Willow dance in the world."

We offer a brief guide to the various events, parties and celebrations, below.

How can I get tickets?

Each of the seven main events is individually ticketed. We have described how to purchase each in date order; an overview of all the events and booking links are available on the official Edinburgh Hogmanay website.


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December 30

Torchlight Procession

This memorable event sees tens of thousands of people walk through the streets of Edinburgh carrying torches, in a marvellous spectacle. It starts at 7pm, from George IV Bridge. The event is a yearly sell-out so early reservation is advised.

The light of 'hope'. #torch #hogmanay #blogmanay #vsco #travel #festive #amazing #edinburgh #kids Repost from @varyanaryo

A photo posted by Edinburgh's Hogmanay (@edhogmanay) on

December 31

The Concert in the Gardens, with headline act Biffy Clyro, is sold out. Party-goers can, however, still join the following events.

Street Party

Four stages of the best traditional, rock and pop music, as well as alternative acts in locations around the city centre. Previous acts have included Mark Ronson, Django Django and The Vaccines. Arena, bars and attractions open from 7pm, live acts from 9pm.

After the Street Party, CityLink buses will depart from Edinburgh Bus Station to several destinations across Scotland; pre-booking essential. Details to be announced shortly; check for updates.

Candlelit Concert, St Giles’ Cathedral

A concert featuring performances by the St Giles' Cathedral Choir and young soloists. Royal Mile, 6pm (doors at 5.30pm).

If Calton Hill is my favorite place to be in Edinburgh during the day, then The Royal Mile is my favorite place at night. This was taken on the Mile just outside St. Giles Cathedral, which I showed the interior of early in my trip. As the name suggests The Royal Mile is about one mile long, but that's a Scots Mile. Which is longer than an English mile and don't ask me how it compares to an American mile because I still can't sort that out. Technically it's just a name and actually the road that stretches all the way from Edinburgh Castle up on the hill, down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse is actually made up of (west to east) Castlehill, the Lawnmarket, the High Street, the Canongate and Abbey Strand. During the day it's quite touristy but at night it's quieter and easier to imagine one really is back in the 15th to 17th centuries or perhaps even earlier! #blogmanay Repost from @kirstenalana A photo posted by Edinburgh's Hogmanay (@edhogmanay) on

The Old Town Ceilidh

What claims to be the UK’s largest ceilidh will take place on High Street/Parliament Square, replacing the extremely popular Keilidh on the Mound from previous years. Dancing is on paved and cobbled surfaces, so appropriate footwear is advised. Stage live 9pm-1am (arena opens at 8pm).

Midnight Fireworks

Pictures of fireworks over Edinburgh Castle bringing in the New Year are some of the most memorable of the Scottish capital. They are best seen from a distance, rather than from near the launch areas, which will be cordoned off.

January 1

Scot:Lands

A mysterious-sounding 'cosmic journey' through Edinburgh is planned for the first day of 2016. Details are to be announced in November 2015.

The Stoats Loony Dook

This classic New Year’s Day dip in the River Forth sees people in fancy dress jump into the water in the shadow of the Forth bridges. Stoats oats is supporting the event this year and will be handing out warming bowls of porridge.

Check-in at RNLI Lifeboat Station – between 12.30pm and 2pm.


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This article was from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

The Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning UK English language broadsheet newspaper, published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally.