Hogmanay means New Year’s Eve in Scots. Until recent years, Scotland did not observe Christmas. Instead, people there, were a part of prolonged and passionate New Year’s revelries which continue till today. Here’s a list of the best places to celebrate this unique festivity:
Unperturbed by the harsh Scottish winter, the capital hosts the largest New Year’s party in the world on a yearly basis. The celebrations continue for three consecutive days and include a torchlight procession, a street party the Loony Dook and much more.
The celebrations in other cities do not match the extravaganza of Edinburgh, but there is still a lot one can be part of. The Merchant Square Hogmanay party and Club Noir are examples of good places to be. Hogmanay does not last for three days anywhere but the capital though.
Every year, 45 participants in Aberdeenshire come together to form a procession from the town to the harbour on New Year’s Eve called the Fireball Festival. During the procession, they swing burning balls (made of chicken wire, rags and paper) over their heads and throw them into the sea when they reach the harbour.
Reading Rooms is an underground music venue which was once a library. There are plenty DJs to put on a serious party and the fact that they are open till 4am leaves little scope for complaint even by ravers’ standards. Without dispute, it is the best party in town.
The Stirling Winter Festival hosts a series of special events including ‘A Night To Remember’ which features fireworks and universal street entertainment. It takes place in King’s Park.
Oban’s bars and hotels offer a wide range of music and entertainment including ceilidhs. The Barn Bar at Cologin is a peculiar place with some Hogmanay traditions of its own. The ferries create a unique atmosphere by sounding fog horns.
Hogmanay is celebrated in a more communal manner here. Informally termed as the ‘malt whisky capital of the world’, Dufftown is home to a Glenfiddich distillery. There is also a Walkers biscuit factory. So after the traditional ceilidhs end, the town comes together in The Square to share whisky and shortbread.
There is an ancient tradition in this town known as ‘burning the clavie’. It is observed on the 11th of January, in accordance with the Julian calendar. The clavie is comprised of a half-barrel which is filled with wood shavings and tar. It is then lit on fire and carried by men to an altar.
The Hogmanay party in this town is brought to the citizens in the form of the ‘Red Hot Highland Fling’. It is the largest free new year’s party in Scotland. It is a family-friendly event with live bands and fireworks.
A fire-themed party in an affluent Scottish village involving a procession holding eight giant flaming torches and the playing of bagpipes. It is reminiscent of Stonehaven’s Fireball Festiva