Things To Do @ Scotland? Then Edinburgh Hogmanay, nicknamed the Athens of the North, is the best New Year celebration and a perfect way to explore Scotland and welcome in the New Year. This is one of the oldest celebrations in history and is still in existence today.
Traditionally, New Year has always been a major celebration than Christmas for the Scottish. In cities, towns, and villages across the country, people at midnight on 31 December fill the streets to wish each other a happy new year.
The festivities are launched with the Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year, and culminate with a big party gathering the entire city in the middle of the summer and including events such as the Tattoo, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Fringe, and many more.
“Hogmanay” is the Scottish word which means “last day of the year”, marking the New Year’s Celebration at New Year. But, why is Hogmanay so important to Scots and Scotland tourism? Although some of these traditions are ancient, the Hogmanay celebrations became so important after the Christmas ban in the 16th and 17th centuries. Under Oliver Cromwell, Parliament banned Christmas celebrations in 1647. The ban was lifted after the fall of Cromwell in 1660. After the ban was lifted, Christmas festivities continued to be dejected in Scotland. In fact, history has it that Christmas remained a normal work day in Scotland until 1958 and Boxing Day only became a national holiday much more lately.
Indeed, Hogmanay has become Scotland’s main outlet for the mid-winter impulse to chase darkness with light, heat, and festivities. In addition to street parties, fireworks and other spectacular fires, as well as the consumption of one of Scotland’s most famous products, Scottish whiskey, there are old traditions associated with Hogmanay in Scotland. Some of the old traditions associated with Hogmanay in Scotland are a First jog, Redding, the House Bonfires and The Healthy House.
Remember that New Year in Scotland is a holiday and that many stores and services will be closed, so, if you plan to travel to Edinburgh for Hogmanay (around New Year’s Day) or during the summer festival season (August to early September), remember to book your stay well in advance (one year in advance or less, if not more) because the city is quickly overpopulated and hotels fill up quickly. The best time to visit Edinburgh (in terms of climate), is between May and September, although the weather is changing. So bring an umbrella and a raincoat whatever the season.