Edinburgh on New Year’s Eve is one of the best cities in the world to be. Hogmanay is the world-famous event that the Scottish capital hosts during the final days of every New Year. Open-air concerts, dazzling fireworks and a city-wide street party - this is just a snippet of what Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is all about. There is so much going on around the 30th and 31st December and 1st January that you’ll definitely need to plan your trip ahead of arriving. Aside from some incredible music, expect an abundance of Scottish whisky, kilts and street performers into the early hours of 2020. Visiting the Scottish capital for Edinburgh Hogmanay? Here’s your guide to what’s going on in 2019.
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What is Hogmanay?
Hogmanay is Edinburgh’s annual New Year celebration, famed for hosting a city-wide street party with concerts, fireworks, performers and way more. The Scotts have a number of traditions which have become an iconic part of the Hogmanay celebrations. First-footing is potentially the most famous of the Hogmanay traditions, dating way back to the Viking era. This was the idea that the first person to step foot into the family home after the stroke of midnight would be the bringer of good fortune in the year ahead. Fire ceremonies are another big role in Hogmanay. One of the first events of the annual celebration is the Torchlight Procession which goes all the way back to pre-Christianity. This is when thousands take to the streets of Edinburgh holding a blazing torch high above their head until they reach Holyrood Park.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay became the giant, crazy party it is back in 1640 when Christmas was banned in Scotland. But the Scotts needed an excuse to go wild, so New Year’s Eve was treated as the biggest day of the year across the country.
Check out the full list of Hogmanay 2019 events and purchase your tickets through the website
30th December, 7pm
There are a few other Hogmanay events happening prior to this, but the Torchlight Procession is one of the most renowned. During this, thousands of people hold a fiery torch and make their way through Edinburgh Old Town and down the Royal Mile until they reach Holyrood Park, accompanied by bagpipers, drummers and fanfare. Once the crowd is in the park, everyone gets in formation to create a spectacular view from the air to be captured by broadcasters. The torchbearers will form the shape of two people shaking hands. The entire thing really is an incredible sight!
30th December, 9pm
Get yourself tickets to the Symphonica Ibiza, taking place inside the University of Edinburgh’s majestic McEwan Hall. There, you’ll get two hours of epic Ibiza dance anthems from the past 30 years, fusing top Ibiza DJs with a local Orchestra, both of which will be playing live in front of the crowd. This is a completely unique experience you’ll do well to find outside Edinburgh, so make sure you get your tickets as soon as you can before you miss out.
Ticket price: £33-£53
31st December, 11:30am
Kickstart the 31st celebrations early by seeing in 2020 along with the other side of the world. Head to McEwan Hall at 11:30am to ring in Australia’s midnight chime with Aussie soul singer Kylie Auldist.
Ticket price: £33
31st December, 7:30pm
Dancing through the streets of Edinburgh is one of the best things about Hogmanay! The atmosphere is simply electric with people enjoying live music and DJs at venues across the city, ready to welcome in a brand new year. As you may guess, the whole Street Party is outdoors, so be sure to dress for the weather. This year’s street party hosts will be The Mac Twins, while other DJs and bands from across the world take to stages around Edinburgh to ensure there is never a dull moment at Hogmanay, even if the only ticket you purchase is for the Street Party. DJ Mark Ronson will be taking over the music at midnight to bring in 2020 with a world-class soundtrack that the famous Hogmanay fireworks will be choreographed to.
When buying your street party ticket, at the checkout you can add on entry to the Silent Disco. This year’s event will be teaming up with Silent Adventures to bring an epic 3-channel Silent Disco to Hogmanay 2019. Whether you’re into club classics, dance tunes or guilty pleasures, there’s a channel for everyone.
Ticket price: £31.50 (£5.50 extra for Silent Disco)
Ceilidh under the Castle
31st December, 8:30pm
Party like a real Scot at Ceilidh Under the Castle. Ceilidh is a traditional word which refers to a social gathering with local dance and live music, and during Hogmanay you can purchase tickets to the one which takes place right beneath Edinburgh Castle. Dance to the full ceilidh band with your loved ones and enjoy some traditional food and drink at the ultimate Scottish New Year’s event. Then see in 2020 with spectacular fireworks over the Castle right from the dancefloor.
Ticket price: £65
Hogmanay in the Gardens
31st December, 9pm
Say goodbye to 2019 in Princes Street Gardens at Hogmanay’s annual music extravaganza, Hogmanay in the Gardens. Every year, Edinburgh’s famous park is host to some of the greatest DJs on the scene, and this year Mark Ronson, Rudimental and Mungo’s Hi Fi will be the ones setting the tone for the New Year. At the stroke of midnight, expect some of the best of Mark Ronson who’ll be on stage playing the first songs you’ll hear of 2020 with the epic Edinburgh fireworks to match.
Ticket price: £75 (includes Street Party ticket)
Every hour, on the hour from 9pm, fireworks are set off over Edinburgh Castle, making a seriously exciting countdown to midnight. At midnight, the best view of the finale is from Princes Street Gardens however you will be able to find other good spots around the city too - it’s probably best to plan this in advance.
Hogmanay Official After Party
1st January, 1am
When the midnight fun is over but you’re feeling merry on whisky and want the party to carry on, the Official After Party is the place to go. Get your tickets online in advance for some unreal DJ sets at McEwan Hall with Judge Jules.
Ticket price: £33
1st January, 12:30pm
As the final celebration and to say a big hello to 2020, people across Edinburgh will be jumping into the freezing cold Firth of Forth. Watch as a huge crowd of locals and visitors dressed in fancy dress, near nothing or fully clothes wade into the river for their chosen charities after walking down South Queensferry High Street.
Tips and tricks for Edinburgh Hogmanay
1. Dress warm for evening Edinburgh weather
2. You can bring alcohol, but no glass, and no more than 4 containers on maximum 500ml
3. No large bags are allowed
4. If you buy the street party ticket, don’t forget to collect your free cocktail
5. Book everything as soon as you can!
Planning a trip to the Scottish capital or looking for accommodation for Hogmanay?
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