Thousands see in New Year at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

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THE night began pouring with rain, and Princes Street was a sea of ponchos, but two hours before the bells the Capital dried up - and New Year was brought in with its usual colourful bang.

Wrapped up warm in hats and scarves, bearing the icy cold wind and plummeting temperatures, city residents and tourists celebrated the Scotland’s biggest event of the year at the Concert in the Gardens, the Old Town Ceilidh and the iconic Edinburgh Street Party.

Revellers travelled from as far afield as India and America to witness the Hogmanay spectacular - which seen families singing and dancing in the street and enjoying traditional street food despite the sub-zero temperatures.

SEE ALSO: Edinburgh’s Hogmanay in pictures

Brad Campbell, 40, who travelled from Utah in the United States with his family especially for the Old Town Ceilidh said his “eight hour flight had been worth it.”

He said: “We’ve always wanted to come to Scotland for a ceilidh so we just decided to take the plunge and do it.

Revellers celebrating early on Princes St at this year's Street Party. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Revellers celebrating early on Princes St at this year's Street Party. Picture: Ian Georgeson

“We didn’t know any of the dances but tonight we’ve certainly learned something new.

“I think the Dashing White Sergeant was my favourite.

“It’s just been phenomenal.”

As well as traditional ceilidh dances, the Old Town Ceilidh on the Royal Mile and Parliament Square also attempted a world record Strip the Willow.

Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil performs at the Concert in the Garden. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Biffy Clyro frontman Simon Neil performs at the Concert in the Garden. Picture: Ian Georgeson

While dance fanatics were in their element dancing on the cobbles, music fans were eagerly awaiting the debut of Biffy Clyro, who appeared on stage half an hour before the bells singing the hit “Captain.”

• READ MORE: Biffy Clyro ‘can’t wait’ for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay

Sarah Goodbrand, 18, from Falkirk, said Biffy Clyro’s performance was “amazing.”

She said: “I love Biffy Clyro so I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.

Revellers join in the fun at the Old Town Ceilidh outside St Gilles cathedral. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Revellers join in the fun at the Old Town Ceilidh outside St Gilles cathedral. Picture: Ian Georgeson

“This is the only Scottish gig they have played this year.

“It’s been so cold but I’ve hardly noticed because I’ve been having so much fun.

“Seeing my favourite band at Hogmanay is an experience I’ll remember forever.”

This is the second time Biffy Clyro have stared at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, as the wowed the crowds with their performance in 2010.

James Johnston, one of the the band members, said: “We’ve played before in 2010, and we feel very privileged to be back.

“It’s the biggest party of the year in the most beautiful location.

People pack Princes St for this year's street party. Picture: Ian Georgeson

People pack Princes St for this year's street party. Picture: Ian Georgeson

“There isn’t another city that celebrates the turn of the year more than Edinburgh.”

Some families were content soaking up the atmosphere of the traditional Street Party - chatting and spending time with their families and friends.

Lindsey Welch, 24, and her partner Austin Armstrong, 23, travelled from Texas for the event.

Lindsey said: “My sister lives in Glasgow and she’d told us all about Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations so we wanted to come and experience it.

“We didn’t expect it to be quite as cold.

“We are so excited to see what all the fuss is about.

“The atmosphere is great on its own, never mind anything else.”

But some weren’t amused with how busy the mound was around 11pm - close to its stage.

Thousands were dancing along to iconic tracks such as Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ and S-Club 7’s ‘Don’t Stop Moving.’

Louise Ross, 19, from Leith, said: “It’s ridiculous how busy it is.

“It’s fine on Princes Street but up here it’s a nightmare.

“It was the same last year - you would have thought they would have fixed the problem.

“How can you enjoy yourself when you feel crushed.”

Just three minutes before the clock struck midnight, the concert and ceilidh was brought to a halt, and a message from British Astronaut Tim Peake was broadcast across the crowds.

Silence fell across thousands, as they listened carefully to what the first Briton aboard the space station had to say - and he wished them all the best for 2016.

As the clock struck midnight, the sky erupted into a rainbow of fireworks as they were set off from Edinburgh Castle and Calton Hill.

The crowd erupted into a cheer and everyone began wishing each other a Happy New Year.

Tina Montaz, 26, from Ukraine, said: “Edinburgh’s fireworks are the best I’ve ever seen in the world.

“So good - perfect way to start my New Year.”

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