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Celebrating Hogmanay In Edinburgh


Hogmanay is what us Scots call the last day of year- New Years Eve to most. Hogmanay is a massive celebration throughout Scotland with its origins reaching back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Vikings.

The Scots know how to party and there are parties and events held in every town and city throughout the country, and it is Scotland’s capital city- Edinburgh - that hosts the most recognised celebrations and festivities- and it is one of the biggest and best in the world!

The Hogmanay festivities attract over 100,000 revellers from across the world during a three-day extravaganza which includes entertainments and culture.

We attended Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in 2019 going into 2020, we only managed the one night but are already looking forward to going back another year to join in with more of the events.

Read on below to see just some of the amazing things you too can do at

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay!

30th December

Torchlight Procession

With a nod to its Viking origins, join in the Torchlight Procession with thousands of revellers, and Pipe and Drum bands, and march through the heart of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile carrying flaming torches. You don’t have to participate in this and can enjoy the spectacle from the side lines if you wish.

Book on the official Edinburgh’s Hogmanay website here

Tickets are £13 including a torch; spectators are free

Free images by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay press release

Free images by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay press release


31st December

Street Party

If you want to experience Hogmanay in true style, then join the tens of thousands party-goers on this large outdoor party. Gates open at 7.30pm and the party gets started soon after. Many streets throughout the Old and New Towns have stages with bands and DJs and there are street performers and dancers. There are also merch vans and plenty of food and drink stands (and of course toilets)

Book on the official Edinburgh’s Hogmanay website here

Tickets are from £21.50

Free images by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay press release

Free images by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay press release

Free images by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay press release


31st December

Ceilidh Under The Castle

A Ceilidh is traditional Scottish dancing and means ‘gathering’ or ‘party’ in Gaelic and it is a place where there is music, dancing and storytelling. The Ceilidh Under The Castle is a great fun activity and the views at midnight for the fireworks are amazing!

Book on the official Edinburgh’s Hogmanay website here

Ceilidh starts at 8.30pm until 1am

Tickets from £65


31st December

Concert In The Gardens

A highlight of Hogmanay has to be the Concert In The Gardens which turns Princes Street Gardens into a concert arena where there is a main stage and each year there are cracking headline acts, which over the years have included Franz Ferdinand, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man and Mark Ronson. To get the crowd going before the main acts there are also some great acts, last year was Rudimental and Scottish sound system-based Mungo’s HiFi. Live acts commence at 8.30pm and end at 1am. Being situated at the base of Edinburgh Castle, here you will be treated to amazing views of the spectacular midnight fireworks which last year were choreographed to some of Mark Ronson’s biggest hits.

Book on the official Edinburgh’s Hogmanay website here

Tickets from £75. Tickets sell out well in advance so book early. Note that the Concert In The Gardens ticket also includes entry to the Street Party



Not only is there the spectacular fireworks display at midnight as you ‘ring in the bells’ but you are also treated to smaller displays on the hour at 9pm, 10pm and 11pm! So, make sure you are camera ready for these too!

The midnight fireworks are an explosion of hundreds of thousands of fireworks in every colour and shape flooding the nights sky. Throughout the events the crowds will join together to belt out ‘Auld Lang Syne’ – check out the famous lyrics below so you too can join in!

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, We’ll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”


1st January

Loony Dook

A more recent tradition started in 1986, the Loony Dook is a way to cure the previous nights hangover by throwing yourself into the freezing water of the Firth of Forth. Oh, and you have to be in fancy dress too! This is also a spectator event if somehow you don’t fancy a cold dip!

Free images by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay press release


Other highlights of the Hogmanay festival include

December 31st- Bairns Afore from 5pm- disco and fireworks for children and parents

January 1st- First Footers Family Ceilidh- a free family friendly ceilidh

January 1st- Official Hogmanay Afterparty- from 1am

Above are all ticketed events, however there is plenty of places you can head to for free to enjoy a somewhat quieter evening but still with the amazing views of Edinburgh and the fireworks displays- try Calton Hill or Arthur's Seat



Make sure to get your tickets early, especially for the Concert In The Gardens as theses sell out fast.


Getting There & Staying Overnight

There are trains and busses to get you to Edinburgh, but note these do not operate after midnight on 1st January.

This year I was the designated driver and we done the Park and Ride from Ingliston, park for free and pay for tram into the city centre. Nb. After midnight on 1st January the tram runs a free service- so just buy a one way ticket on 31st!

We recommend staying overnight, book early at Premier Inn for something cheaper, an Air BnB or we personally like Apex Grassmarket- but check out Expedia for best value accommodation.


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