I've never really done anything epic for New Year's Eve. Even the year I celebrated in Ireland, my friends and I rang in the new year quietly, in a small pub with some live music. I've never gone to any crazy parties or all-night celebrations.
But that's all changing this year. I'm going to make up for all my lame NYE celebrations of the past by ringing in 2013 in epic fashion — I'm going to Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Scotland!
I know I know, you're probably wondering what the heck Hogmanay is, right? Well, “Hogmanay” is just the word the Scots use for the last day of the year. But the celebrations? The celebrations actually last for 3-4 days in Scotland's capital and consist of parades, concerts, ceilidh dancing, and one of the largest street parties in the world.
Move over, Times Square. Hogmanay may actually just blow you out of the water!
I'm not just celebrating like a normal Hogmanay reveler, however. For the first time this year, Edinburgh's Hogmanay is going to have a blog-centric twist. And I'm going to be a part of it! Wittily being called “Blogmanay,” the event will consist of 21 travel bloggers from around the world experiencing the best that Edinburgh and its Hogmanay celebrations have to offer, with the goal of sharing it with the world via social media.
Highlights will include:
- Torchlight Procession (Dec. 30) — There will be Vikings and fire and thousands of people (and FIRE) parading through Edinburgh, culminating in the Son et Lumière finale on Calton Hill.
- Concert in the Gardens (Dec. 31) — With Bwani Junction, The View, and headliners Simple Minds.
- Hogmanay Street Party (Dec. 21) — There will be not one, not two, but THREE stages with music throughout the night (including The OK Social Club, Reverend and the Makers, The Maccabees, Shooglenifty, Lau, and Admiral Fallow). The third stage will be broadcasting The REW1ND3R throughout the evening, creating the world’s biggest nightclub throughout the entire length of Princes Street.
- Ceilidh dancing (Dec. 31) — It's reported that there will be “non-stop Scottish ceilidh music and dancing” throughout the night. I'd better make sure to bring my dancin' shoes!
- Edinburgh's Dogmanay (Jan. 1) — There will be dog races, contests, and hopefully the opportunity to snuggle a sled dog or two!
- Your Lucky Day (Jan. 1) — This “festival in a day” also sounds like a great way to explore Edinburgh. Here's the event description: “Start your afternoon at Destination 1, The National Museum of Scotland, where you roll a dice to decide your next destination. Follow the numbers on the dice around the Old Town for the afternoon and let them take you on a journey through Edinburgh’s most iconic and atmospheric venues discovering performances and installations from some of Scotland’s most exciting and innovative artists and musicians.”
- And of course there will be midnight fireworks on NYE, plenty of kilts, and what's sure to be a rousing rendition of “Auld Lang Syne” (did you know the tradition of singing it at midnight actually began in Scotland?).
Throughout the event, we'll also be attending tweet-ups, press conferences, dinners, brunches and more with everyone from the folks at Skyscanner to NYE headliners Simple Minds. And we're being given access to a kitted-out media center downtown as well as plenty of mi-fi devices so we can share everything with YOU. If there's something in particular you want us to check out and report back on, let us know!
After recovering from Blogmanay, my fellow bloggers will be headed up into the Highlands and Isle of Skye for 3 days with Haggis Adventures. To say I'm gutted to be missing out on this (as well as another jaunt to St. Andrew's) would be a severe understatement. But other travel obligations call, and so I'll be hanging around Edinburgh for an extra 2 days while everyone else heads north. If you have suggestions for me in Edinburgh (or if you will be around and would like to grab a warm beverage), drop me a line.
If you want to see what we get up to next weekend, check out the Blogmanay Tumblr page, or simply follow the hashtag #Blogmanay on Twitter (and, if you'll be at Hogmanay this year, too, make sure to use the #Blogmanay hashtag on anything you post to Twitter or Instagram!).
I can't even begin to describe how excited I am to be a part of this amazing event. I hope you'll follow along!
Now… to find me a cute Scottish boy to kiss at midnight! 😉
Big thanks to Edinburgh's Hogmanay, along with partners EventScotland, VisitScotland, Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG), Festivals Edinburgh, Haggis Adventures and Skyscanner for setting this all up. I'm very much looking forward to another dose of Scotland!
Have you ever been to Hogmanay? What do you want to read about most?