Bring in the bells!


Hogmanay is Scotland’s New Year’s celebration. As Christmas festivities wind down, the really spectacular Hogmanay parties in Scotland are just getting underway. 

Inverness at Hogmanay hosts a number of events to welcome in the New Year, the biggest of which being the Red Hot Highland Fling held at the Northern Meeting Park 31st of December, 2018. It’s free to attend and you can enjoy live traditional Scottish music from energetic bands including Tidelines , Blazin’ Fiddles and The Trad Project.

We’re offering 25% off your 3-night stay from the 31st December to the 3rd of January using the code “NewYear2018”.

As well as the street parties, live music, dancing and fireworks, some of our communities in Scotland still practice a number of the ancient traditions that are rooted in our culture such as first footing, fire celebrations and the singing of Auld Lang Syne.

First Footing
After the clock strikes midnight and we enter the new year, people wrap up warm and visit neighbouring houses, offering small gifts such as shortbread. The visitor, in turn, is offered a small whisky – a wee dram.

Scotland’s fire festivals at Hogmanay and later in January are linked to Viking origins. The use of bright fire to purify and drive away unwanted spirits is an ancient idea that has lived on in the form of fantastic fireworks and crackling community bonfires.

The Singing of Auld Lang Syne
Often at the end of an evening of celebration, Scottish people sing a Robert Burns version of this traditional Scottish air, linking hands and rejoicing in the moment.

Ceilidh Dancing
There’s nothing quite like whirling around the dance floor to upbeat Scottish live music. There’s no need to know the dances as the caller will talk you through the steps. They’re repetitive and easy to understand after a bit of practice. The idea is to enjoy and celebrate and not be too formal. Ceilidh means a gathering and would refer to any occasion where people would get together and enjoy a dance or celebration.

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