Things to do in Scotland’s capital at New Year: Here’s our guide to getting the most out of the end of 2013, and the start of 2014.
Torchlight Procession - 30 December, 7pm - 8pm
Start your Hogmanay celebrations in the best possible style - as part of a large crowd of people holding flaming torches. The Torchlight Procession sees tens of thousands of people line the streets of the capital before ascending Calton Hill for the spectacular finale. It’s big, it’s brash, and it sets the scene nicely for the madness to follow.
Hogmanay Festival Fair - 31 December, 11am
On the big day itself, begin with a trip to the Grassmarket and the Hogmanay Festival Fair.
Traders from Scotland and beyond will be on hand with jewellery, fashion, homewares and more, alongside food and drink stalls and a spot of music as well.
Whisky Galore! - 1:30pm
Get into the spirit of Hogmanay with a screening of the classic film Whisky Galore! at the Filmhouse, one of the city’s top arthouse cinemas.
When the residents of a remote Scottish island find a ship loaded with whisky washed up on the shore, their thoughts soon turn to two questions - how to get it, and how to keep hold of it. Learn from the islanders’ ingenuity, but don’t try the same thing at the street party later on.
The Star Flyer - 4:30pm
To fill the gap before the main festivities begin, why not head up the 60-metre Star Flyer ride at Edinburgh’s Christmas market? The ride is open all day, but we recommend heading up in time to catch a spectacular view as the sun goes down on 2013.
Street Party - 9pm
The main event itself is packed with modern and more traditional music, as well as countdown fireworks on the hour leading up to 2014.
To make the most of your evening, we recommend starting off at the REWINDER video DJ stage for a mash-up of the best of Scottish music and culture, then heading to the Waverley Stage to catch Glasgow synth-pop band CHVRCHES, before visiting the Scottish Stage to see folk hero and Mercury Prize nominee King Creosote headline.
Fireworks, and a New Year - Midnight
Wherever you are at this stage, look up. The Princes Street fireworks can be seen for miles around, and are the symbol that a New Year is underway.
Clubbing - 1 January, midnight to 5am
Edinburgh did not become one of the most-renowned New Year cities in the world because its citizens go to bed early, and the city’s nightclubs will be open until the early hours.
There’s something for everyone, including a New Year’s hip-hop night at the Bongo Club, a Mardi Gras-inspired night at the Picture House designed to take you away to a South American carnival, and many many more across the city centre, most of which will run until 4 or 5am.
If you want to keep the night going without busting any moves, many of the city’s pubs and bars are also open late.
Loony Dook - 1 January, 10:30am
Wash away the cobwebs from the night before with a dip in the River Forth at the annual Loony Dook. Swimmers jump in the water at South Queensferry to raise money for charity, with bigger crowds turning out to cheer them on and make unhelpful remarks about how cold the water looks.
Scot:Lands - 1 January, 12:00 - 5:30pm
Start the New Year proper by visiting another world - or nine, to be precise, in the Scot:Lands event taking place in the Old Town.
Nine venues have been programmed by some of Scotland’s best creative minds, including Edinburgh art collective FOUND, dance company Smallpetitklein, and some of the minds behind acclaimed multi-media show Whatever Gets You Through the Night.
Come for the chance to experience some of Scotland’s finest cultural minds, stay to find out why King Creosote from the night before is now billing himself as King Crabsote.
Hogmanay After Party - 1 January, from 6pm
The official New Year ‘after party’ sees the fun continue long after many cities would have given up the ghost. Live music, good times, and a chance to catch your breath at the end of a busy 48 hours are all on offer at various venues on the Grassmarket, in the shadow of the Castle.