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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.


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!


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!


Hogmanay Celebrations in Scotland

Hogmanay in Edinburgh


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


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!


Sebastian Canaves
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