Christmas 2022: All you need to know about Edinburgh's Christmas and Hogmanay

Scotland’s premier winter celebrations are set to return this year, bringing a spectacle of mouthwatering treats to the historic Capital’s streets.

Image: Keith Valentine
Image: Keith Valentine

Visitors at Edinburgh’s Christmas will find a range of delicious delicacies at The Mound and at the traditional market situated at the top of East Princes Street Gardens.

Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy freshly-made mini pancakes, crepes, fudge and doughnuts, while savoury offerings include mac ‘n’ cheese, hot dogs, ramen, nachos, and a variety of Italian specialities, among others.

The market will include more than 70 stalls from some of the best local traders, all of whom are to be confirmed very soon, alongside UK and European sellers of bespoke crafts, gifts and tasty bites.

Image: Matt Beech

For the first time, this year’s Edinburgh Winter Festival is being organised by UniqueAssembly, a new partnership between Fringe venue operator Assembly Festival and Unique Events, which first staged Edinburgh’s Hogmanay back in 1993.

They have joined forces to formulate the programme for this year’s Hogmanay in the city following the suspension of the celebrations for the last two years and their services were secured by The City of Edinburgh Council to deliver the Capital’s Christmas.

The festival, nestled against a backdrop of the city’s unparalleled skyline, will kick off next Friday, 25 November, and organisers promise it will be back better than ever.

From Saturday, 26 November, skaters enjoying the new Lidl on Ice experience on West George Street, presented in partnership with Essential Edinburgh, can warm up with a mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine, while tucking into pigs in blankets in its Alpine-style winter warmer area.

Xyloband Wristbands to be used at Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party

Lidl on Ice will be undercover, allowing skaters to enjoy the experience whatever the weather, will be open daily until Sunday, 3 December with 40-minute sessions priced at £10 running on the hour from 11am, with the last beginning at 9pm. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult, and there will be dedicated sessions for younger ones.

The much-loved Forth 1 Big Wheel will also be making a comeback to provide a unique perspective of the city, offering spectacular views across the Old Town, the Castle and Arthur’s Seat. Passengers can enjoy the comfort of enclosed weather-proof pods while enjoying a soundtrack created by Forth 1’s DJs.

The attraction will be open daily from 10am to 10pm with tickets priced at £10.

And no Christmas is complete without a trip to meet old St Nick. The big man himself, along with some helpful elves, will be found at Santa Land in West Princes Street Gardens, where there will be Santa’s Stories sessions for up to 25 children at a time. Each session will last for around 25 minutes and all children will receive a gift that is suitable for their age.

The story sessions will run from next Saturday to Christmas Eve and entry costs £10 per child and adult, plus £3.50 per additional adult.

Some time slots have been reserved to allow space for families to bring along their belovedfour-legged friends. Santa Paws will allow pets to share in the enjoyment of the magical experience and will see a donation from every ticket going to support Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home.

Santa Land’s Christmas Tree Maze will give both adults and children an enchanting Yuletide adventure.

Lord Provost Robert Aldridge says: “Edinburgh is one of the best places in the world to celebrate Christmas and this programme for 2022 promises a rich and varied programme of festive activities, events and experiences that will be enjoyed by residents and visitors of all ages. We can’t wait to see everyone enjoying it.”

Full details of Edinburgh’s Christmas can be found online at www.edinburghwinterfestivals.com

Making a popular return after a two-year hiatus, the world-famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will see a fair few of the estimated 30,000 revellers at the Street Party become part of the unforgettably stunning show for the first time ever.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2022-23 has joined up with with tech innovator Xylobands to benefit from its experience in producing a list of high-profile international events, including Glastonbury and this year’s Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony, and embrace the technology which connects audiences directly to the music.

With personal LED wristbands lighting up the party on West Princes Street during the midnight moment, friends old and new from around the world can welcome in 2023 together.

Residents living in an EH postcode can take advantage of a special local ticket price for the Street Party of £22.50, with general admission tickets available at £27.50.

The Hogmanay celebration will be a three-day extravaganza with concerts held in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.

Iconic duo Pet Shop Boys will headline the Concert in the Gardens on New Year’s Eve, welcoming in 2023 with their “Dreamworld” greatest hits show. Best known for chart toppers including West End Girls and It’s A Sin, the UK’s most successful musical duo have recently returned home after a sell-out co-headline tour around North America with New Order.

The show, which includes guest DJ sets, will run from 9pm to 12.55am and tickets start from £70.

On Friday, 30 December, pop-princess Sophie Ellis-Bextor, with special Scottish guests Altered Images fronted by Clare Grogan, will perform at the Night Afore Disco Party presented in conjunction with Forth 1 in the Princes Street Gardens.

This family-friendly disco event for all ages will get started at 7pm, hosted by Forth 1 DJ Boogie, who will spin dancefloor classics and offer spot-prize give-aways.

Ellis-Bextor gained a huge online following during lockdown, with the Murder on the Dancefloor singer’s homemade kitchen disco videos garnering more than 40 million views. Ticket prices for her headlining concert begin at £32.50 and the show will end at 10pm.

Rounding off the weekend are Glasgow four-piece Tide Lines who will be joined in an all-Scottish line up by Edinburgh’s very own Hamish Hawk and BBC Scots Trad Music Awards Album of the Year 2017 winners Elephant Sessions.

The Final Fling on New Year’s Day, priced from £35, tops off a day of free events and live performances taking place in the Old and New Town’s attractions and venues.

The most highly anticipated Hogmanay experience is, of course, the show-stopping fireworks display which will dazzle thousands from Edinburgh Castle and millions more on TV.

Titanium Fireworks’ display promises to be a light spectacular and, again, residents with an EH postcode can take advantage of a special local ticket price – £22.50. General admission costs £27.50.

Edinburgh City Councillor Val Walker, culture and communities convener, says: “Edinburgh is truly the home of Hogmanay, and we’re very much looking forward to the return of the world-renowned Street Party. Revellers can expect an unforgettable firework and light show, and a new level of involvement with the addition of the personal LED wristbands. I can’t wait to see it.

“Edinburgh’s Hogmanay remains the place to be to bring in the bells and this year will be no exception.”

Updated details of all the events can be found online by visiting www.edinburghshogmanay.com