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If you’re starting to panic about still not having plans for New Year’s Eve, then don’t worry as here at Sykes Cottages, we have the answer. How about making the trip up north to beautiful Scotland, where New Year’s Eve is celebrated with unrivalled enthusiasm and style? Scotland’s Hogmanay is one of the biggest New Year parties in the UK. The larger Scottish cities, such as Edinburgh, offer three days of events from torchlight processions to street parties, and firework displays to candlelit concerts; whilst the smaller towns and remote areas of Scotland indulge in community events such as parties, dinner dances and ceildhs. There’s something really magical about experiencing a Scottish Hogmanay and luckily, we still have some Scottish holiday cottages available over New Year, but you’ll need to act fast as they book up quickly! Below is a select sample of some of the best Hogmanay events taking place this year.

Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony

Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony Hogmanay

Via Flickr

The Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony takes place every Hogmanay in Stonehaven, North East Scotland. It consists of local people swinging flaming wire cages around their heads as they march up and down Stonehaven High Street. The cages are filled with flammable material and are attached to a wire handle which is usually around two to three feet long. It is deemed to be safe for the performers although the audience and bystanders are advised to take care. Starting at midnight and lasting around thirty minutes, the event is said to burn off the bad spirits of the past year so that the spirits of the New Year can come in and start afresh. Despite its unusual nature, the Fireball Ceremony attracts thousands of visitors each year and families are considered more than welcome.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Edinburgh Hogmanay

Via Flickr

Edinburgh plays host to one of the biggest and most extravagant Hogmanay celebrations in the whole of Scotland. On the 30th December, festivities get underway with a torchlight procession where thousands of people line the streets of the Scottish capital with flaming torches. They travel from the Royal Mile along to Calton Hill, where they are met with a spectacular firework finale. On Hogmanay itself, around 80,000 people will be heading to the ticket-only Street Party and the Concert in the Gardens beneath Edinburgh Castle. The Pet Shop Boys are headlining the Concert in the Gardens, along with the 1975s, Nina Nesbitt and The 10:04s so you are sure to have a great time. On the stroke of midnight, the world famous Hogmanay fireworks will light up the Edinburgh sky and can be seen from all over the city so even if you haven’t managed to get a ticket, you will still be able to enjoy them. If your head isn’t too sore the next day, you can also take part in Edinburgh’s Loony Dook, where participants parade through the streets in fancy dress before plunging into the freezing waters of the River Forth. This is a tradition that has been running for over 25 years and is not for the faint hearted. You should be warned that it will be very, very cold!

Host Your Own Hogmanay

Champagne on New Years Eve

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If the thought of parties and crowds is leaving you a bit lukewarm, why not consider hosting your own traditional Hogmanay celebrations in one of our cosy Scottish holiday cottages? Whether you’re spending it with your family or friends, don’t forget to uphold the Scottish tradition of singing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ at midnight. Although the song is now commonly sung across the UK on New Year’s Eve, it originated in Scotland and was composed by Scottish poet, Robert Burns. Many Scottish locals will head outside at midnight and sing Auld Lang Syne in a circle with their neighbours, so for a traditional Hogmanay experience, why not head out and join them?

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