Traditional Hogmanay events around Scotland
Highlights include the Orkney Ba’ Game, Stonehaven Fireballs Ceremony and the Biggar Bonfire
1: The comedy banquet
Maggie May’s (60 The Trongate, Glasgow, 548 1350) brings back its annual Hell's Bells Hogmanay celebration, with a five-course meal, comedy from Canadian funnyman Tom Stade, live music from The Dawn Patrol and a club open ‘til the early hours.
2: The boat party
The Ferry (25 Anderston Quay, Glasgow, 01698 360 085) is hosting a New Year’s Eve Ceilidh on the banks of the River Clyde, with The Gary Blair Ceilidh Band and DJ Alan Todd keeping the party going until 2am.
3: The gala knees-up
The annual Raymond Gubbay Hogmanay Gala at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (2 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, 353 8000) is a perennially popular affair, with TV comedian Joyce Falconer introducing traditional and classical music favourites on New Year’s Eve.
4: The Haggis dinner
The Sheraton Grand Hotel is hosting a Hogmanay Ball, with live music, ceilidh dancing, a traditional haggis dinner and a stunning city centre view of the fireworks.
5: The Comic Opera
As well as hosting a variety of festive concerts, the Usher Hall (Lothian Road, Edinburgh, 228 1155) is also flaunting its theatrical side, presenting Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado on Wed 29 Dec, starring Alistair McGowan.
6: The masquerade ball
The Hogmanay Masquerade Ball is another stylish celebration, this one at the Roxburghe Hotel (38 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, 08448 799063). A champange reception, five-course meal and swingin’ Frank Sinatra tribute band make for a seriously classy New Year party.
7: The Biggar Bonfire
South of the central belt, the Biggar Bonfire (Biggar, Borders) will once again welcome in the new year in the oldest of fashions, by lighting a ruddy great fire and having a party round it.
8: The Burning of the Clavie
Another example of fiery festivities can be found at Burghead (near Elgin, Moray), where The Burning of the Clavie – a centuries-old ritual involving an extremely flammable cask of wood shavings and tar – still takes place every year, bringing good luck to the local residents.
9: The Fireballs Ceremony
Not to be outdone, the Stonehaven Fireballs Ceremony (Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire) consist of forty or so local residents, accompanied by pipe bands, parading down the High Street while swinging massive flaming balls, which are then launched into the nearby harbour.
10: The Stirling shindig
Back towards the centre of Scotland, and the more genteel citizens of Stirling will most likely be screaming their heads off at the homegrown music and TV talent who’ll be providing the entertainment at Stirling’s Hogmanay (Castle Esplanade, Stirling, 01786 274000).
11: The Ba’ Game
In the most northern reaches of the country, the Orkney Ba’ Game (Kirkwall, Orkney) pits the two halves of the town against each other in a 100s-a-side game of footie. The matches have only the most shadowy of rules, and are known to last well into the evening.
Going out in Edinburgh this Hogmanay? RBS is supporting free bus travel home. Free Lothian Buses and First services will be running from Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party along the major routes and leaving regularly between approximately 00.00 to 04.00am. Find out more information about routes and timetables.