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Since I went to Edinburgh (via a novel) for Christmas last week, I thought I’d stay for another week (via fantasy) to experience a Scottish Hogmanay, the New Year celebration.
I discovered The Balmoral in Edinburgh on a list of 22 of the best Christmas hotel breaks in the UK. I guessed that it would be equally splendid at the New Year and I was right. This elegant hotel hosts a black-tie event on New Year’s Eve with a five-course dinner, entertainment, and a view of the fireworks over Edinburgh Castle at midnight.
If that’s too fancy for your tastes, we can join the Street Party.
Other special events around Edinburgh begin a few days ahead of New Year’s Eve.
The fun begins tonight, Friday, December 29th with a Torchlight Procession. Twenty-thousand people carry torches through the streets of Edinburgh. That must be a sight to see and to participate in!
Tomorrow, we can attend some or all of a triple-feature Scottish Cinema Series beginning with the film From Scotland, With Love, pieced together from archival bits of film. After that, we can stay for the 80s film Gregory’s Girl and the 90s film Trainspotting.
We’ll want to dress early for our New Year’s Eve party so that we can hear, in the early evening, a Candlelit Concert at St. Giles’ Cathedral, which will observe its 900th anniversary in 2024. Google maps says that it’s less than a half-mile walk between The Balmoral and the cathedral, so I’ll wear flats with my purple sequin top and black drapey palazzo pants. Those are in my closet, but I’ll need to come up with a fantasy dress coat to go with them since it will be about 40°F. Also, we’ll want to bring our umbrellas, just in case. It is Scotland, after all.
On New Year’s Day, live music will be performed in venues, large and small, all over the city centre. The event is called First-Footin’ after the Scottish tradition of First Foot, about how luck accompanies the person who first enters a home at the New Year.
The Balmoral has an indoor pool, steam room, and sauna. I’ll want to take some relaxing breaks between these other events.
Do you want to meet me in Edinburgh for Hogmanay? Happy New Year!