Highlights of Edinburgh's Christmas and Edinburgh's Hogmanay 2014 programme

Highlights of Edinburgh's Christmas and Hogmany 2014 programme

Fraser Cameron

Lily Allen, Al Murray, Briefs and Hot Dub Time Machine set to help the city celebrate the festive period


Edinburgh's Christmas 2014/15 tickets are now on sale, with a programme that promises to be bigger and better than ever.

Opening on Friday 21 Nov, the attractions span two locations in the heart of the city centre, at St Andrew Square and East Princes St Gardens. EH postcode holders receive a 20% discount on all shows, rides and events.

St Andrew Square plays host to a spectacular new 360 degree ice rink, which wraps around the Melville Monument; a helter skelter and carousel; a host of bars and the Scottish Market, showcasing some of the best craft, food and drink that Scotland has to offer.

The dazzling 1920s Spiegeltent also makes a much anticipated return to St Andrew Square for the festival season, featuring a jam-packed line-up of world class entertainment including Scotch and Soda, the internationally acclaimed circus show direct from sell out runs at the Sydney and Brisbane Festivals, family favourite Stick Man, based on the book by Julia Donaldson, comedy superstar Al Murray for three nights only, Edinburgh's favourite all male burlesque troupe, Briefs, and the return of the sell-out party night Hot Dub Time Machine.

East Princes Street Gardens hosts the Big Wheel and the 60-metre Star Flyer ride, both of which give unrivalled views over Edinburgh, plus a second stunning ice rink, a double carousel and the traditional European Christmas market. An extended Santa Land features lots of rides for children, including the Santa Train, Christmas Tree Maze and, of course, the chance to meet the main man himself at Santa's Grotto.

Free events include Light Night, the opening ceremony of Edinburgh's Christmas, featuring the switching on of the Christmas lights, which takes place on George Street (23 Nov), and St Andrew's Day celebrations, a day of free activities and performances in St Andrew Square (30 Nov).

For over 21 years Edinburgh has welcomed the world to celebrate New Year in spectacular style at the famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival. The city will once again entertain 130 000 revellers from over 60 countries for three days of incredible free and ticketed events featuring headline concerts, theatre, music, dance and Street Party extravaganzas. It is for this reason that Edinburgh is known globally as the ‘home of Hogmanay’ and was the only festival recently listed in the Discovery Channel’s ‘Top 25 World Travel Experiences’.

On the opening night of the festival (30 Dec) 35 000 people join the warm embrace of the Torchlight Procession as it flickers through the city, radiating light through the winter darkness as thousands of torch carriers create a river of fire leading to a spectacular Son et Lumière and fireworks finale.

Then party into 2015 at one of three main ticketed events on the 31 Dec. The world famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party kick-starts New Year with the very best in Scottish music on live music stages throughout the city centre, DJ sets and giant screens throughout the arena providing the soundtrack to the party, and not forgetting one of the world’s greatest New Year fireworks displays.

Set beneath the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle, the Concert in the Gardens this year presents pop-superstar Lily Allen. This headline appearance will be the final show of her 2014 world tour and will be feature some very special guests to be announced. Or if you want a truly Scottish Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, then birl through the bells at The Keilidh; a traditional outdoor ceilidh event set beneath the historic Edinburgh skyline.

But Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is more than just music and New Year fireworks, this festival is packed with free and ticketed entertainment surrounding the 31st December. The serene Candlelit Concert set in the magnificent surrounding of the Old Town’s St Giles’ Cathedral, plus a full exciting new programme of free entertainment on New Year’s Day, ensures that Edinburgh’s Hogmanay continues to be voted as one of the top New Year experiences in the world.

Edinburgh's Christmas

Six weeks of winter wonderland, with Edinburgh transformed by a fairground, a host of colourful lights and the fabled European Christmas market with dozens of stalls selling traditional trinkets and crafts as well as delicious Teutonic treats (and, of course, glühwein).

Concert in the Gardens

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Edinburgh's Hogmanay

Edinburgh's world-famous Hogmanay celebration ushers the new year in with a bang. A Torchlight Procession winds through the historic Old Town and into Holyrood Park on 30 Dec, a massive street party with live music that culminates with Midnight Fireworks from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle and 'Auld Lang Syne' on 31…

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