Hogmanay without a street party feels very un-Hogmanay

The idea of Edinburgh without its world-famous Hogmanay street party, when thousands gather on the streets and make friends with the city, seems a little un-Hogmanay.

Edinburgh's Hogmanay street party could be banished from next year after research found mass gatherings were the least popular element of the capital's festive calendar. PIC: PA/Andrew Milligan.
Edinburgh's Hogmanay street party could be banished from next year after research found mass gatherings were the least popular element of the capital's festive calendar. PIC: PA/Andrew Milligan.

For Scots, the event is a blown-up version of ‘the bells’ that draws people into high streets, around steeples or to harboursides to experience that special moment of turning time together.

For visitors in Edinburgh, it’s a front row view of Hogmanay, an occasion often touted as the greatest party on earth, which leaves people feeling they have been part of something special. This year some 30,000 people are due to pay £27.50 to attend this year’s event.

However, it would seem that the street party fizz has gone a little flat with research finding mass gatherings the least popular element of the capital’s festive calendar.

More than 8,600 people took part in the survey, carried out over lockdown, with the future of events like the street party and perhaps the more tranquil Torchlit Parade on the 30th, now apparently now in doubt.

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What people want is fireworks, lighting installations and live music performances, with the programme set to be redrawn next year.

Hospitality leaders believe the city would be “mad” to get rid of the mass gatherings given the economic benefits it brings throughout the year.

People may be gathering to enjoy the moment that one year turns to the next, but its worth remembering how the city rides the popularity of its Hogmanay profile all year round, and all around the world.

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