Hogmanay is a popular festival held in Scotland to usher in the New Year. It is a three-day extravaganza combining a number of events to bring in the New Year. Hogmanay is a traditional Scottish word meaning last day of the year. Many local customs are followed during this celebration.
The Hogmanay festival in Edinburgh is marked by many celebrations and events held in various locations and venues. Orchestras, live performances of dance and music and a host of food festivals and carnivals form a part of the celebrations. St. Giles’ Cathedral, one of Scotland’s most important church hosts a candlelight concert. Another most important attraction is the display of fireworks over the Edinburgh Castle. People from all over Europe throng the venue to witness this extravagant display.
The festival kicks off as early as 29th December and one can witness the public coming out to organize and unorganized street parties. They let their hair down and participate in street parades and dance and swoon to their hearts content. These celebrations continue until 31st night for the New Year’s Eve. There is also the New Year’s Day dip called the Firth of Forth.
One of the widespread customs is ‘first-footing’. In this custom, people want to be among the first to enter a friend or neighbor’s house and exchange gifts with them. It is thought of as a lucky charm for the New Year. In addition each area of Scotland has its own set of customs. Fireball swinging is one among them. The other is that of burning the clavie. All these events see a huge crowd that come to witness them last few years have seen a huge number of people to the tune of tens of thousands to witness the show.
It should be noted that apart from the street parties, all other events at the Hogamany festival in Edinburgh are ticketed events. So it is important to book tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment.