With centuries of history on its shoulders , stunning scenery , striking architecture , fine food, and with an annual calendar of events, Edinburgh is definitely an interesting destination for travellers. Of course, no winter in Edinburgh is complete without Hogmanay.
AS CHRISTMAS AND THE NEW YEAR ARE APPROACHING, THE LIGHTS ARE ON AND THE ICE RINKS ARE OPEN, I AM GETTING A BIT NOSTALGIC ABOUT ONE OF MY BEST DECEMBER TRIPS.
It was December 2012, when I bought a last minute train tickets from Chester, England to Edinburgh, Scotland, to spend the new year there and experience the Scottish heritage associated to this event that they named “Hogmanay”.
Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year but it refers to the whole celebration of the new year.
It is a three days celebrations full of passion and an amazing way to discover and experience the Scottish heritage. There is no better city to get a taste of Scotland than Edinburgh.
Edinburgh, is just my kind of city; a city full of history, each of its buildings is telling a story, every corner has witnessed a piece of its past.
It is important for anyone wandering the streets of Edinburgh to pay attention to the smallest detail.
I made it to Edinburgh a day before the official start of the Hogmanay so I can get a feel of the city and play the tourist.
I was not the only one, the city was busy and full of people from around the world.
These thousands of people gathered on the 30th of December in the city centre for the opening event: the Torchlight Procession, an evening of time travelling back to the Viking times.
Thousands of torch carriers joined the Up Hella Aa Vikings and the Massed Pipes And Drums to illuminate the city until we made it to Calton Hill where we made our goodbyes to 2012 and welcomed 2013 around a bonfire and fireworks.
The second day of celebrations is the new year’s eve. For a city celebrating the new year for days, it is just normal to have more than one new year’s eve party.
Edinburgh became one big stage for three different parties: The Street Party, Concert In The Gardens and The Keilidh.
I would not obviously miss the opportunity to experience the very best in traditional Scottish music. I went to the Keilidh.
DESPITE OUR DIVERSITY AND THE FACT WE ARE ALL STRANGERS TO EACH OTHER, WE ALL SPOKE THE SAME LANGUAGE THAT NIGHT. IT IS THE CEILIDH DANCE.
I did not know who my dance companions were. I did not try to know, neither did they. As if we all took a break from life and its formalities, we were just humans celebrating life and time.
Everyone was having a good time and embracing the Scottish culture to the bones but we were then interrupted by the midnight glorious fireworks coming from the Edinburgh Castle on top of a hill. SPECTACULAR.
On the first of January, I had to go back to reality and my responsibilities. Therefore I missed the third day of celebrations unfortunately, The Loony Dock. To be honest, I am not sure I would take a new year’s plunge in the cold weather of Edinburgh.
That Hogmanay in Edinburgh was one of the best new year celebrations ever for me. It was authentic and unique.
I fall in love with Edinburgh straight way and I can not wait to go back again, not in December though.