Hogmanay: New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh, Scotland

Hogmanay is the Scots meaning of New Year’s Eve. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is the observance of Scottish celebration of New Year. It has turned into a four or five-day celebration in Edinburgh. Street parties, concerts, fireworks are held in the celebration of Hogmanay in Edinburgh. Scottish people celebrate Hogmanay with different customs and events throughout the country. But in Edinburgh, Hogmanay celebration can take you to another level. Hogmanay is world’s one of the unique New Year’s celebration.

Here is a handy guide to help you prepare yourself for Hogmanay.

What is Hogmanay?

Hogmanay is the Scots word of New Year’s Eve. Hogmanay is New Year’s celebration in Scottish manner. In Edinburgh, Hogmanay celebrations take place for four to five-days. Hogmanay is Edinburgh starts on 28th December and ends on New Year’s Day or sometimes on January 2nd. January 2ndis a bank holiday in Scotland. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is one of the most popular New Year Celebration in the world. They celebrate Hogmanay with many customs, such as first-footing. It involves friends and family going to each other’s home on the New Year’s Day and giving presents like whiskey, coal, etc. In Edinburgh, they celebrate New Year with street parties, concerts and fireworks. A major street party takes place during the celebration on the Princes Street. The large fireworks display takes place at the stroke of midnight. They fire a canon at the Edinburgh castle following the fireworks. Concerts and ceilidh takes place in the Princes Street Gardens. One needs to buy tickets to enter the park.

Some Key Facts About Hogmanay:

  • Hogmanay is New Year’s Celebration in true Scottish manner.
  • Nobody knows where the word Hogmanay came from. The word may have originated from Gaelic or Norman-French.
  • Historically, in Scotland, they didn’t use to celebrate Christmas. But Hogmanay was largely celebrated. With time, Christmas grew bigger in Scotland and Hogmanay became the signal of Christmas ending.
  • To describe the midnight hour of New Year’s Eve turning New Year’s Day, they use the Phrase ‘The Bells’.
  • In Many countries including Scotland, people sing the famous Scottish Poet Robert Burns’ ‘Auld Lang Syne’. The Guinness Book of World Records lists this song as one of the most frequently sung songs in English.
  •  One of the most important customs of Hogmanay is first-footing. They believe that the first person to come with a present to one’s house on New Year’s Day brings good luck and prosperity with him.
  • On Hogmanay, Scottish people give each other whiskey, coal, black bun as gifts. Z
  • On the New Year’s day, they hold a parade called Stoats Looney Dook.
  • You must buy a ticket if you want to be a part of the concerts and ceilidh.
Hogmanay: New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh, Scotland

Hogmanay is a colorful and hectic festival of lights. This is a Scottish New Year Celebration. Hogmanay is famous all around the world. Its concerts, street parties, Fireballs show, fireworks show makes it unique. There is nowhere, nothing like this. Tourists from all around the world attend this festival. Hogmanay starts on 28th December and ends on 1st January or 2nd January, which is a Bank Holiday in Scotland. They celebrate this festival with different customs throughout the country. One of its significant customs is first-footing. They celebrate this custom with wishing each other and giving presents to family and friends. As present they give whiskey, lump of coal, black bun. This festival’s fireworks show at midnight is amazing. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay should be on your bucket list if you are a firework lover. Also, you join this festival with your family and have a good time. This joyous festival will give you a spectacular experience.

What is the History of Hogmanay?

The history of Hogmanay is ancient and has not come from a single tradition. The celebration of winter solstice among the Norse, the Gaelic celebration of Samhain, the Viking celebration of yule has inspired the Hogmanay. In Edinburgh, this celebration has turned into a festival when an informal street party took place in Edinburgh. The party focused on the Tron Kirk in the High Street of the Old Town. The party and the celebration became official since 1993. And the party focused on the Princes Street. In 1996, over 300,000 people attended the festival. In 2003–2004, they canceled most of the organised events at brief notice because of very high winds. Similarly, the 2006–2007 celebrations in Edinburgh were cancelled on the day, again because of high winds and heavy rain.

Hogmanay: New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh, Scotland

The Stoats Loony Dook parade has originated from an incident during WW2. When soldiers returned home, they took a cold bath into the freezing waters of Firth of Forth to wash away the exhaustion of the war.

When is Hogmanay?

Hogmanay annually takes place on 28th December and ends on the New Year’s Day or 2nd January which is a bank holiday in Scotland.

Where is Hogmanay?

Hogmanay takes place in many countries including Scotland. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has drawn attention of tourists and traveller from all around the world. Edinburgh is the Capital of Scotland.

Essential Tips to help You Enjoy Hogmanay:

  • Arrange your accommodation early and properly. A good place to stay is the key to a pleasant trip.
  • Get your tickets early. The Street Party is ticketed, and so is the concert at Princes Street Gardens and the Torchlight Procession.
  • Wear layers of fine knits. Choose a coat that’s both smart and warm and go for practical, sturdy footwear. Dark-coloured boots are a good option. Keep yourself warm by wearing a pair of gloves or wrapping up in a stylish scarf.
  • Try first-footing. Don’t forget to take a present for the person you will knock the door of.
  • Try joining the Ceilidh. It is a traditional Scottish group dance.
  • Make new friends. Don’t be so alone on Hogmanay.
  • Try the Scottish cuisine. Drink some Scottish alcohol.
  • Don’t be shy or closed, enjoy your time during the festival.
  • Edinburgh is a beautiful city. Try exploring its wonders.
Hogmanay: New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh, Scotland

Safety Concerns during Hogmanay:

  • Just like any other place you need to take some usual safety measures during Hogmanay.
  • Plan accordingly. If you’re going to a party or heading to a public event, make plans to arrive and leave with a group.
  • Watch your steps in the crowd.
  • Keep your valuables in a safe place.
  • If you are drinking alcohol, keep in mind your limits. Try not to drink too much, too quickly.
  •  Always check for the weather updates. It can be very windy and they can cancel celebrations as it has happened before.
  • Whether you’re a passenger or driver, the roads are dangerous on New Year’s Eve. Help everyone stay safe by refusing to drink and drive, and don’t let anyone around you drive under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances.
  • If you’ll be at a friend’s house for New Year’s Eve, ask to spend the night, or book a room within walking distance of your festivities to avoid potential drunk drivers and the pre-existing dangers of driving in winter conditions at night.
Hogmanay: New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh, Scotland

Well, Hogmanay looks like an amazing and spectacular festival of lights and music. This is a hectic celebration of New Year’s Eve in a Scottish manner. You can join this festival with your friends and family, and have a blast. I hope, that this festival draws your attraction. If it has done that, what are you waiting for? Start planning and get ready for hectic holiday.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hogmanay:

Q. Why is Hogmanay called Hogmanay?

Answer: Hogmanay is the Scottish name for New Year celebrations. Dr Donna Heddle, an expert from the University of the Highlands and Islands, explained: “The name could also come from the Anglo-Saxon ‘halegmonath’ meaning ‘holy month’.” Some say it could come from the Scandinavian ‘hoggo-nott’ meaning ‘yule’.

Q. Why do Scots celebrate Hogmanay?

Answer: Hogmanay is what we Scots call New Year’s Eve – 31 December – the big night that marks the arrival of the new year. Its origins reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Vikings with wild parties in late December.

Hogmanay: New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh, Scotland

Q. What happens at Hogmanay?

Answer: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is a 3-day festival full of events that include a torchlight procession, live music concerts, family events, a massive street party, traditional dancing, fireworks, and even a costumed parade that ends with a cold dip in the river!

Q. How do you say Happy Hogmanay in Scottish?Answer: It is thought to derive from the French for a New Year’s Eve gift. In Scots we say ‘haud Hogmanay’ for ‘celebrate the end of the old year’ and, once the New Year comes in, we call it ‘Ne’rday’ or ‘Neerday’ – New Year’s Day.