Christmas lights 2015: Where to see them

Where you need to be and when to see the Chrsitmas lights turn on in Dundee, Inverness, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow.

Edinburgh's Christmas is a massive tourist draw for Scotland every year. Photo: Steph Gary Evie


The Tayside city holds its first-ever Christmas Street Festival this year, with traditional attractions such as the switching on of the Christmas lights and nativity scenes joined by a Star Wars-soundtracked fireworks display that will round off the evening. A pop-up market will be on offer on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 November, with the Cutting Edge Ceilidh band adding to the festive atmosphere.

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Inverness Town House becomes the focal point on Sunday 22 November when Santa and Provost Jimmy Gray turn on the Christmas lights. A spectacular light show by Arts in Motion will illuminate the Town House, while an “Advent Calendar” prize draw will choose which 24 charities and local organisations will receive £100 each for the year to come.


The capital’s six-week celebration of Christmas is one of the country’s largest and is internationally-renowned. This year’s “Light Night” will see singer Susan Boyle flip the switch at an event on the city’s George Street. Boyle’s presence on the day will be supported by 1,250 performers providing singing, dancing and acting all in celebration of Christmas, while the famous Christmas market and ice rinks on Princes Street and St Andrew’s Square all make a return.

Last year’s event saw over 29,000 people attend, making it the city’s biggest free-entry event.

Dundee's Christmas event is the first in the city's history. Photo:


The months of October to January constitute the Granite City’s winter festival, with the Christmas Lights Switch On Parade on Sunday 29 November one of the city’s festive highlights. The combined ropelight length between all the motif displays on Union Street is 2,568 metres, with this year’s theme being “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. Last year saw more than 20,000 spectactors line the parade route to welcome in the switch on.


In a move which epitomised the bad luck of Friday 13, Glasgow City Council announced that the annual Christmas lights switch-on for 2015 had been cancelled due to bad weather and high winds. A statement on the Glasgow Loves Christmas website has revealed that there will be no attempt to reschedule the complex event.

Inverness will host a light show with a guest appearance by Santa. Photo: Inverness Festivals

Instead, ticket holders have been promised a free hot drink in exchange for their ticket from the organisers at George Square. Despite this setback, a programme of events has been created for this year’s event, including the Glasgow Santa Dash and Glasgow On Ice, with memories of last year’s well-attended switch-on still fresh.

Last year's Christmas light switch-on in Aberdeen saw over a mile of lighting installed. Photo: Aberdeen ILV