Hogmanay – Celebrating the New Year in a Scottish Manner!

The city of Edinburgh during Hogmanay - you see fireworks in the sky, the cathedral and lights all around

If you have booked a Scottish holiday to bring in the New Year, you know you’re in for a good time. Every year, so many tourists and travellers choose a New Year break in Scotland. That’s because they are keen for a slice of the legendary Hogmanay.

So what is this Hogmanay that we keep referring to? The Scots call New Year’s Eve, 31 December, as the big night or Hogmanay. A 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. There’s also the singing of Auld Lang Syne – a famous centuries-old folk song, and very distinct and unique fire festivals across the length and breadth of Scotland. While it is uncertain where the name Hogmanay originated from, it is believed the word may have come about during the reign of Mary Queen of Scots and thought to be derived from the French word ‘Hoginane‘ meaning ‘gala day’.

Scotland has many diverse events to celebrate Hogmanay, and you could choose where you want to go.

You could head to Edinburgh and take part in its Hogmanay celebrations – opting for a concert, street party, disco party, candle lit concerts and more. Intrigued? Find out more about this year’s celebrations here.

A screenshot of Edinburgh's Hogmanay Celebrations - showcases Concert in the gardens

You can also be in Inverness for a really lovely, and free-for-all celebration. The 2022 event will be hosted by Fred MacAuley and will be a real fun, family-friendly occasion. Headlined by local favourites Torridon, the audience will also be able to sing and dance the night away to bands Tweed and Mànran. The festivities start at the Northern Meeting Park in Inverness at 8:30pm and run until 12:30am. Tickets are free. 

Another unique Hogmanay celebration is to be found in Stonehaven. One of many winter fire festivals unique to Scotland, this fireballs parade in Aberdeenshire is a powerful spectacle to behold. It’s a free Hogmanay event. Celebrated for over 100 years, it always attracts a large crowd. Traditionally, it was a cleansing ritual to burn off any bad spirits left from the old year so that the New Year can begin clean and purified. Do check the page for this year’s updates to the event.

If story telling, and a night full of magic is what you desire, then make a booking for the Magic Fest at Hogmanay House. Beneath the surface of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, beyond the fireworks and firelight processions, is a rich underbelly of Scottish traditions and stories that remain forgotten or hidden. Some outrageous, others hilarious – all brought to life in this New Year’s Eve (ish) show with magic, live music, storytelling and a host of surprises to celebrate this special time of year.

If you wanted to know more about how different cities and villages celebrate Hogmanay in Scotland, here’s a handy link that will give you all the deets you will ever need. Plus, there’s lots to be learnt about some peculiar Hogmanay traditions like you should try to clear all your debts before the stroke of midnight.

Here’s wishing you have a super celebration as you bring in 2023, and on our part, we will bring you a video reel all the way from Scotland! (Keep your eyes on our social media handles, and you won’t be disappointed.)


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