Edinburgh’s new-look Hogmanay celebrations include a family friendly Bairns Afore and a ceilidh at the foot of the city’s iconic castle, an extended fireworks display which will rival any other city in the world this New Year and a revamped and animated Street Party.
The three-day festival opens on 30 December 2017 with the traditional Torchlight Procession which this year blazes a new path seeing the river of light weave its way through the historic heart of the city around Holyrood Palace and the Scottish Parliament before culminating in Holyrood Park.
A Scotland wide engagement campaign co-designed and led by young people will seek to reach their peers in Scotland between the ages of 8 and 26 over the Autumn/Winter period this year.
On 31 December, local and visiting families have the opportunity to celebrate New Year together in West Princes Street Gardens at Bairns Afore. The family friendly celebration includes an hour of entertainment and culminates in its very own ‘midnight’ fireworks moment at 6pm, allowing families to take their children home to bed before the late night reveling gets underway.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay renews its partnership with One City Trust, donating 50 pence from every ticket sold for the Torchlight Procession to the Trust as the Torchlight Procession Charity Partner for 2017. Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will also make 300 free tickets for Bairns Afore available to the Trust to maximize the opportunity for young people around Edinburgh to get involved and celebrate Hogmanay. One City Trust is dedicated to fighting inequality and exclusion in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh’s Street Party will last six hours street party bringing the spirit of carnival and animating the length and breadth of the Princes Street.
From the moment the doors open at 7pm till after the midnight bells have fallen silent, bands and DJs on stages, street performers and dancers, acrobats, disco divas and fire eaters will all combine to make it the party of a lifetime.
The 2018 Street Party will be hosted by Sanjeev Kohli of the popular BBC comedy show, Still Game.
Ringing in the New Year, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay sees the longest, biggest and best fireworks display for years set to music and once again launched from Edinburgh Castle.
On Monday 1 January, the brave dive into the chilly Firth of Forth for the Loony Dook, raising money for a huge range of charities in the process.
As dusk falls on 1 January, Edinburgh, the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, celebrates its rich literary heritage and that of Scotland with projections across buildings and landmarks across the city.
In a nod to Robert Burns’s poem Sketch New Year’s Day, Message from the Skies sees literary star Val McDermid join with dramaturg, Philip Howard of Pearlfisher, Edinburgh-based projection company Double Take Projections and some of Scotland’s best soundscape artists to create and write a new short story which will lead audiences on a trail around Edinburgh.
Message from the Skies runs until 25 January 2018 and is a joint commission by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Edinburgh International Book Festival.
Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam, directors of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said: “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.
“From the new culmination of the Torchlight Procession with Scotland’s young people’s chosen word being created in blazing torches to the extended midnight fireworks, the new Bairns Afore for families, the re-booted Street Party carnival and the almost month long project Message from the Skies illuminating the city’s dark January nights, we are confident that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2018 will offer lots of ways for people to enjoy this must-do globally famous event.”