How to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Scotland

8th December 2018

New Year’s Eve is called Hogmanay in Scotland, and to say it’s a big deal is putting it mildly. Compared to the rest of the UK, Scotland not only gets the 1st of January off as a national holiday but also the 2nd of January too. Here are three ideas on how to celebrate Hogmanay in Scotland.


Stonehaven Fireball Festival

The Fireball Ceremony is Stonehaven’s unique way to welcome in the New Year and greet friends and neighbours. As the midnight chimes ring out on December 31st, approximately 40 men and women parade up and down the High Street swinging fiercely flaming balls around their heads.

Stonehaven Fireball Festival

Image: Tartan Footprint


New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh

Edinburgh hosts one of the world’s biggest New Year’s Eve parties in the world. With a multitude of events including world famous bands and a huge fireworks display. With Edinburgh castle as a backdrop it’s an amazing place to ring in the new year.


First Footing

First footing (or the “first foot” in the house after midnight) is still common across Scotland. If a house has its lights on after midnight then you are welcome to first foot. Remember to bring with you some of the symbolic pieces: coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and a wee dram of whisky. I’ve never experienced people bringing salt or black buns but I have welcomed coal for the fire, shortbread and whisky (of course).

tray of shortbread

Image: Jennifer Pallian


If you would like to plan a trip to Scotland then please get in touch and we would be only too happy to help you plan something away from the ordinary Contact us