Hogmanay & New Year in Scotland
10 December 2017
While the rest of us celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, the Scots ring in the new year with their own festivities. Hogmanay, the term Scots use for the last day of the year, dates back to the Viking Age, and this historic three-day celebration is now famous the world over.
Every year, there are a spectacular range of Hogmanay celebrations taking place across the country. Here are some of our favourite Hogmanay traditions and celebrations, many of which you can experience right here at Brunston.
Edinburgh Torchlight Procession
Hogmanay celebrations kick off on 30th December, and one of the most famous traditions is the Edinburgh torchlight procession. Starting from St Giles Street, North Bridge, and South Bridge, the procession is accompanied by pipers and drummers, flowing through the heart of the city before meeting at the Palace Holyroodhouse for a breathtaking fireworks finale. The procession takes place in the early evening, so if you fancy taking part, you’ll still have plenty of time make it back to Brunston for the midnight celebrations.
Street parties and carnivals
Street parties and carnivals often take place during Hogmanay. They feature a variety of entertainment, from live music to street entertainers. If you fancy joining the crowds and celebrating in style, why not try the Ashton Lane Hogmanay Street Party in Glasgow? This year’s party follows a traditional Scottish theme and will see DJs, bars, barbecues, Scottish pipers and a live ceilidh band come together under the lane’s glittering fairy light canopy for a fabulous celebration.
Traditional and folk music
While Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness play host to some of the largest Hogmanay celebrations, local towns often celebrate the new year with more intimate gatherings featuring traditional or folk music acts. If you fancy celebrating with the Ayrshire locals, why not head down to Ayr Town Hall for the town’s sixth annual Hogmanay Hootenanny? Featuring live music from local acts, a licensed bar and exciting raffle prizes, it’s the perfect way to welcome the new year with a bang and raise money for local causes at the same time.
The Loony Dook
The Loony Dook is a fun-filled charity event which takes place on the 1st January every year at the Firth of Forth estuary at South Queensferry. It involves hundreds of people dashing into the freezing cold river wearing fancy dress. For many, it’s the perfect way to blow away the Hogmanay cobwebs and enjoy a fresh start to the new year. Queensferry is just outside of Edinburgh, and is around a 2-hour drive from Brunston. The town is home to a variety of pubs, restaurants and cafes, all of which are open on New Year’s Day, so this event is the perfect start to a day of exploring Queensferry and the surrounding area.
As we’re sure you know, us Scots love a wee dram. However, whisky plays a vital role in the age old Hogmanay tradition, first footing. To bring good luck in the new year, it was said that the first person to set foot in your home after the stroke of midnight should be a dark male, and he should come bearing gifts such as bread, coal or whisky.
Scots still celebrate first footing today, sharing traditional foods and whisky with their neighbours on New Year’s Eve. While you may not be able to visit your neighbours during your stay at Brunston, you can certainly ring in the new year with a whisky or two. Independent whisky bottlers, A. D. Rattray, are just six miles from Brunston and are well worth a visit if you fancy sampling exceptional local malt whiskies.
For more information on Hogmanay events in the local area, please get in touch with the Brunston team who would be happy to help you plan your trip.