Although the capital will take centre stage during tonight’s Hogmanay celebrations, there are plenty of party opportunities elsewhere in Scotland for those who want to see off 2017 with a bang.
In Inverness, the Red Hot Highland Fling, the country’s biggest free Hogmanay celebration, will see a string of top names from the traditional music scene entertain revellers at the Northern Meeting Park.
This year’s event will feature The Elephant Sessions, Scooty and The Skyhooks, and multi-award-winning folk-rock band Skerryvore, all compered by comedian Craig Hill.
Also appearing are Skipinnish, the award winning act which has been selling out venues including the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. The band’s musicians, whose latest album is called The Seventh Wave, aim to provide “a unique and sublime mix of Highland tradition and contemporary music”.
Hogmanay revellers in Stonehaven will enjoy a fireballs parade (pictured above) in a free event which has been celebrated for over 100 years and always draws large crowds. Traditionally known as a cleansing ritual held to get rid of bad spirits from the old year, the gathering will see a piper lead a procession through the town just before midnight as performers swing balls of fire above their heads.
Among Scotland’s other fire-based Hogmanay festivals is the Comrie Flambeaux, which will see the Perthshire village host a parade of lit torches, some nearly 10ft in height, at midnight. The procession, which is likely to have been pagan in origin, will be accompanied by music and participants in fancy dress before the torches are thrown into the River Earn.
Over in Dufftown, residents and visitors will enjoy a Hogmanay ceilidh at a local hotel before congregating in The Square, where drams of whisky and pieces of shortbread will be shared out for the bells.
And in Aberdeen, a special Hogmanay concert will be held at the city’s Music Hall.
Featuring fiddlers, ceilidh bands and live performances by comedians, the party will conclude with a fireworks display on the roof of His Majesty’s Theatre as the clocks strike midnight.