The Hogmanay festival started in Edinburgh, nowadays it is celebrated all over the country and I had the pleasure to experience the celebrations at different places in the country!

What is Hogmanay?

Hogmanay is Scottish and literally means “the last days of the year” and is associated with the New Years Eve celebrations in Edinburgh. It lasts from the 30th of December until the 1st of January.

hogmany guide

Is Hogmany an idea for New Years Eve?

Yes, Yes and again Yes. Personally, I think this has been one of my favorite last days of the year ever. And I’ve celebrated in many great places but I liked how calm and friendly the people were, thousands of people celebrating together and going on a torchlight procession and no trouble at all. Simply loved it!

hogmany guide

Where to stay during Hogmanay in Edinburgh?

There are more than 400 Hotels, 25 Hostels and over 800 AirBnB rentals in the city. Check out my Edinburgh City Guide to find the right accommodation!

Edinburgh ebook guide

Hogmanay Celebrations in Scotland

Hogmanay in Edinburgh

hogmany guide

If you’ve read my last article, you know, what a great time I had in Scotland. Hogmanay means the last days of the year and we truly made the best out of it and experienced a few very magical and intensive days in the Scottish capital.

On the 30th of December they have a huge torchlight procession with over 30.000 participants. Even big names like Mark Webber showed up last year to walk in the crowed. It is a magical experience!

On New Years Eve, Edinburgh prepares for the biggest and loudest party of the year. Thousands of Edinburghians and tourists meet at Princess Street to celebrate the last hours of the year together. Top bands keep the crowd entertained. The highlight 2013 was a great show by the Pet Shop Boys getting everybody in the mood for a great year 2014! Who’s going to be partying at Edinburgh’s Hogmany 2014? :)

Hogmanay in Stonehaven

hogmany guide stonehaven

In Stonehaven, a small town south of Aberdeen, they have a different tradition. They swing fireballs over their head for 30 minutes before throwing them into the cold waters of the harbor.

It’s a tradition they keep alive for years. No big events are planned around it, it’s just the fireballs. In order to stay warm you can try to find a place in the crowded pubs at the harbor and drink with the locals. The ceremony is great to watch, but the lack of entertaining and standing in the cold for hours makes it a small torture. Once they start to light and swing the balls at midnight you forget the cold for thirty minutes while enjoying the spectacle.

Are you also going to celebrate Hogmanay in Scotland this year?

P.S.: Don’t forget to download my free Edinburgh eBook!

P.S.: #blogmanay is brought to you by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and is supported by ETAGEventScotland,Homecoming ScotlandVisitScotlandEdinburgh FestivalsMarketing EdinburghHistoric Scotland and co-creators Haggis Adventures. Created and produced by Unique Events. Many sponsors but only one opinion: Mine! Enjoy…

Sebastian Canaves

Sebastian Canaves

Author & Blogger at Off The Path
Sebastian is the main contributor of Off The Path. He has been writing here for more than three years. Until today he has traveled to more than 60 countries and lived in more than 7 countries around the world including Australia, The Netherlands and Thailand.
Sebastian Canaves


Blogpreneur, Digital Nomad, YouTube Vlogger, Travel and Digital Marketing Blogger, Plugin and App Developer. Tweeting about all things digital and travel!
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Sebastian Canaves
Sebastian Canaves

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5 Responses

  1. giselleandcody

    There are so many amazing festivals that not a lot of people know about.
    We had no idea about this one but it definitely looks like a lot of fun!!
    Great photos!!

  2. Flight For One

    I went to the Hogmany Festival for New Years 2013 and it was truly a magical experience. The hours leading up to Hogmany were bustling with happy locals and travelers…oh and bagpipe players =D Once I stepped foot into the festival (with two drinks in hand) everyone was so friendly, upbeat, yet relaxed. I even got to see the Maccabees perform up until the sky lit up with fire works. You don’t find that kind of environment just anywhere these days and I can’t wait to go again.


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