Happy New Year, Scottish style
Most people in the UK will tell you that the Scots truly know how to celebrate New Year. In fact, many British people and tourists from around the world, find their way to Scotland for New Year or, as it is called in Scotland, Hogmanay. Certainly we British celebrate each New Year but with nowhere near as much tradition, pizazz and style as the Scottish do.
For them The Holiday Season is all about New Year.
Yes Christmas is spent in the usual way, with family and friends gathered around but the Scots save their biggest and loudest celebration for the New Year.
Hogmanay in Scotland usually lasts more than just New Year's Eve. The celebrations may begin New Year's Eve but they usually last at least a day or two.
It is widely believed that Scottish people celebrate New Year more than Christmas due to the influence the Vikings had on them in the long distant past. Before Christmas was a December celebration Scottish people celebrated the passing of the shortest day by pushing the boat out at Hogmanay. As a far northern country the long dark days of Winter were dreaded and it was a time for celebration when they were starting to pass.
To this day Christmas is celebrated as a secondary holiday in Scotland, with New Year as the time for huge celebrations. Edinburgh in particular is host to many, many visitors over the New Year and there are huge firework displays and so much more.
In recent years, it has been ticket only, to enter the centre of Edinburgh and these celebrations, due to the impossible amount of visitors. Usually such tickets have been allocated long before Christmas. There are current bands and so many events. Celebrations are ongoing from around the 29th December.
Although the celebrations have plenty of traditional bagpipe playing and swirling kilts, these days there are plenty of modern attractions on offer also.
Have you ever visited Scotland?
We have and we loved it. Winter may not be the perfect time to visit, especially in you want sunny climes, but Scotland has a lot to offer.
So what can Scotland offer the visitor or tourist?
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland. The loudest and largest Hogmanay celebrations centre around this city. There will be others though across Scotland, in the towns, villages and other cities. As a capital city Edinburgh can be pricey to visit. This applies if you stay in many Capital cities. Move a little away from Edinburgh and you could get a good deal. Travel links are pretty good with rail and bus services covering a wide area. Driving is not too bad but during Hogmanay roads will be busier than normal.
If Scotland opts for independence it could end up with the Euro as its currency. For now its currency is like English currency. Scotland does have some bank notes of its own that are legal tender, in for example England. However some shops in England will not take them and you may end having to visit a bank to get them changed. It is best to refuse them at source unless you know you will spend them in Scotland.
If you plump for Edinburgh you will be spoiled for choice. It has many fine historical buildings, plenty with Royal links and associated history. Towering above the city is Edinburgh Castle. It offers visitors a wide panoramic view of the City and its surrounding countryside, for miles.
During the Christmas and New Year holidays places such as museums may have limited opening times. Some days they will be closed. You need to plan your Hogmanay vacation in order to get what you want from it.
Scotland could provide you with a perfect Winter vacation. If you combine one week in Scotland with a week in say the sunny Canary Islands of Spain you will get the best of both worlds.
If you opt for sticking with Scotland arrive for Hogmanay and enjoy your vacation in January. There will be bargains to be had with January Sales plus once the revelers have departed Scotland will be peaceful. This is when you will get the best prices ever.
Where in the world do you want to go today? One Woman uses personal experiences to show you some of the best places to visit in the United Kingdom and beyond. Enjoy!