25th birthday lineup for Edinburgh's Hogmanay
With the end of 2017 approaching, Edinburgh's Hogmanay has announced its latest programme, celebrating the 25th birthday of the greatest New Year celebration in the world - and tickets are on sale now.
Highlights of the programme include an exciting new route for the iconic Torchlight Procession, a specially created early celebration of New Year for families and young people, a rebooted Street Party promising a carnival atmosphere, a new look for the traditional mass ceilidh, an extended fireworks display from Edinburgh Castle and an innovative new January project showcasing literature from Edinburgh and Scotland in collaboration with the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
30 December 2017
Celebrations kick off on 30 December with the traditional Torchlight Procession, which this year will take a new route through the city's historic heart, starting at 3 different points, coming together at the Royal Mile, and heading for Holyrood Palace, the Scottish Parliament and a stunning new visual moment in Holyrood Park, the #ScotWord project.
2018 is Scotland's Year of Young People and as part of the celebrations, #ScotWord will form the closing moment of the Torchlight Procession. During autumn and winter, the project, led by singer/songwriter Nina Nesbitt, will reach out to the country's 8-26 year olds, to find the answer to the question, "What makes you most proud to live in Scotland?" The chosen word will then form the fiery finale to the evening.
31 December 2017
With Hogmanay traditionally focused on late night celebrations as the clocks strike 12, this year's fun will also include Bairns Afore, a special, family-friendly event taking place from 5-6pm. An hour of entertainment will close with some 'midnight' fireworks, leaving plenty of time for younger revellers to get home and off to bed before the evening party begins.
Doors for the 6 hour long Street Party open at 7pm and partygoers can expect a feast of bands, DJs, dancers, acrobats, fire breathers and more as the city centre becomes a carnival of fun, all hosted by actor and comedian Sanjeev Kohli.
Down in West Princes Street Gardens, there's a new location for the traditional New Year ceilidh, with the Ceilidh under the Castle giving attendees the chance to birl the evening away in one of the most striking locations in the city, beneath the towering rocky edifice above. A few hundred yards to the east meanwhile, the ever-popular Concert in the Gardens will see 10,000 people rock the night away. Details of acts at the Ceilidh and Concert will be announced later in the year.
And as the evening moves onto its famous midnight moment, Edinburgh's Hogmanay is promising "the longest, biggest and best fireworks display for years" with music accompanying the spectacular flashes and bangs appearing high above Edinburgh Castle, bringing in 2018 in style.
1 January 2018... and beyond
The celebrations don't end with December though, as the tradition New Year's Day Loony Dook sees a thousand brave souls, many in fancy dress, heading into the chilly waters of the river Forth to raise money for charities and wake themselves up from the night before.
Finally, Message from the Skies, a special new project created and written by Scottish author Val McDermid, will extend the New Year spirit as far as Burns Night on 25 January.
In partnership with the Edinburgh International Book Festival, New Year's Resurrection, a specially commissioned short story by McDermid, will be told through projections onto Edinburgh's buildings and landmarks, in celebration of the city's literary heritage and status as the first UNESCO City of Literature.
Audiences will move from location to location to follow the story, with a special app available offering translations for overseas visitors as well as text-to-speech to aid partially sighted participants.
Full details about Message from the Skies will be released later in 2017.
Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, directors of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said:
We are humbled and thrilled to be delivering a new programme for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in 2018. Edinburgh can claim to be the home of New Year festivals and we will work hard to ensure that the programme delivers something fresh and exciting every year to keep residents, UK visitors and international tourists flocking to this world famous Festival City through the winter months.
Minister for Winter Festivals and Burns Night, Alasdair Allan, said:
Hogmanay hugely contributes to promoting Scotland as a fantastic visitor destination, a host of the world’s major events and a dynamic country rich in culture and creativity. Most importantly, it enhances Scotland’s reputation as a place where everyone is assured a warm welcome, whether they are visiting the country, are here for business or to study, or have chosen to live and work here.
Edinburgh's Hogmanay runs from 30 December 2017 to 1 January 2018, with Message from the Skies running 1-25 January 2018.
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