Edinburgh Hogmanay Torchlight Procession

13/05/2016 Off By Emma Gray

Travelling Edinburgh – Enjoying Hogmanay Torchlight Procession

One of the highlights of the three day festival that is Edinburgh’s Hogmanay (hogmanay is the Scottish word for the last day of the year), was, without a doubt, the Edinburgh Hogmanay Torchlight Procession. When travelling Edinburgh at Hogmanay, this is certainly a spectacle not to be missed.

I’d been looking forward to it for a while. I mean, how often do you get the opportunity to wander around with a burning torch these days?!

At first, just one, a single torch was lit. It quickly spread and a veritable sea of light was created. Thousands of people carrying flaming torches above their heads began to slowly follow behind vikings from The Shetland Isles, at the tip of Scotland, who were flanked by a traditional Scottish pipe band.

We continued carefully (I was a tad concerned my hair would be set on fire!) travelling Edinburgh along the route which would eventually lead us onto Calton Hill, overlooking the city for a spectacular fireworks display. Looking back as we began steadily climbing the hill and seeing the sheer amount of torches was incredible. As we were reaching the top, behind us there was a shimmering sea of people still crossing Edinburgh’s North Bridge.

The flames seemed to make everyone and everything glow in their soft, gentle light. Despite there being thousands of people around, it was quiet and peaceful. Everyone was in awe at the sheer amount of torches around us. It was absolutely magical.

When we finally made it onto the hill, which many didn’t because it was so busy, it was time for some celebratory fireworks. A taster of what would be to come as the bells struck midnight the following evening to mark the beginning of 2013. The fireworks were wonderful, but little did we know the ones at the bells would make them pale in comparison!

I simply loved taking part in the torchlight procession and, if you ever have the chance, I recommend you buy a torch and take part too if you’re travelling Edinburgh at this time of year. It’s beautiful, calming and fills you with a warm glow that is surely the perfect frame of mind to bid farewell to one year and get ready to welcome in another. If you’re planning on travelling Edinburgh at Hogmanay, be sure to immerse yourself in the torchlight procession and be dazzled by licks of fire and illuminated streets.

Emma shares all of her travel adventures, tips and advice on her two websites Emma’s Travel Tales and Emma On Board, as well as writing for a number of other online publications. She has also partnered with many large companies and tourism boards around the world. She’s busy making memories around the world…