#blogmanay – TorchLight Procession – The start of Edinburgh Hogmanay

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In years gone by Scotland  had the tradition of gathering in a public square to see in the New Year, followed by “first footing” – visiting friends and family. First person over the threshold was preferably tall and dark – the dark hair signifying they were unlikely to be a Viking and “up to no good”.  And the traditional thing to bring along was a lump of coal for the fire  as well as perhaps, some shortbread, whisky or a dense fruit cake called Black Bun).

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Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has come a long way since then, when the crowds gathered round the Tron Kirk on the Royal Mile for the Bells and then faded away. This was largely down to the vision of Peter Irvine, the man behind the Scotland the Best guide book.

By 2014 the event has grown to three days of activities and illuminations to brighten up this darkest time of the year.

The event that heralds the New Year is the torchlight procession. I’ve watched it snake through the town in the past , but have never walked along with it before, as I did this time. It’s an impressive sight, all those thousands of folk with their torches. And despite the fire and the crowds everything passes off safely and with good humour.

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The final destination is the top of Calton hill where a huge bonfire was lit. Gazing at it, and in the presence of “Vikings” down from Shetland, I couldn’t help think of those people down the centuries who must have been captivated by similar fires. At that moment I felt aware of some kind of common thread linking us all – right back to those who might have been gathered around huge fires at sites like the mysterious settlement at the Ness of Brodgar on Orkney. It was just magical – no other word for it.

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The spectacular finale was a son et lumiere that danced around the whole of the hilltop – from the skies above the bonfire, to the National Monument and the Nelson Monument. To the sound of Skyfall the stars blazed around us , glittered and exploded. A fitting way to say goodbye to a year if ever there was one.

 

#blogmanay is brought to you by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and is supported byETAG,EventScotland,VisitScotland,and co-creators Haggis Adventures. Created and produced byUnique Events. As always, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

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Sparkling Edinburgh

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In winter Edinburgh can get pretty dark and gloomy. So its just as well that there are so many reasons to festoon the city with as many lights as possible. In recent years there seem to be ever more, and that is just fine by me. The more lights in the darkness the better.

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lights

From the end of November onwards there are more and more lights added until by the time New Year comes the city is a riot of lights.

The Christmas market , ice skating and high flying rides are still in full swing if you fancy a wee whirl into Edinburgh in the next couple of days.

#blogmanay is brought to you by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and is supported byETAG,EventScotland,VisitScotland,and co-creators Haggis Adventures. Created and produced byUnique Events. As always, all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

December Views

Snow Santa - Iphonography

Snow Santa - Iphonography

The little snow chap is back and dressed as Santa  this time.  Edinburgh is still very frosty, but fortunately no more snow fall for now. Hopefully it will stay like this long enough for everyone to get to where they want to be for Christmas.

There are still a few more days for you to enter the Calendar giveaway at Cynthia’s Original Impulse blog – just give your best time management tip ( over on her blog ) to be in with a chance.

December Views and a Giveaway…

winter candles

winter candles

Candles for the winter solstice. Somehow rather interesting that there was also a full lunar eclipse today – only the second to occur on the shortest day “since time began” ( or at least our counted version of it). I did try to see it but there was too much cloud cover. I have seen it in the past and it was quite an amazing sight.

In other news, Cynthia Morris of Original Impulse is hosting a giveaway of one of my “12 City” Calendars for 2011. Have a look at the video and leave your comment on her blog to be in with a chance.

Original Impulse Juju Infusion Calendar Giveaway.

December Views – Candlelit Coffee

Candlelit Coffee - Iphonography

Candlelit Coffee - Iphonography

Coffee and a cardamom bun is a perfect combination on a freezing day. Hardly takes any effort to imagine myself in Sweden. For Edinburgh locals – Peter’s Yard bakery and cafe is the place you want to go for these. Everywhere does cinnamon buns , but in my opinion they are no match for the cardamom version.

December Views – In a Retro Kitchen ?

Retro Kitchen ? Iphonography

Retro Kitchen ? Iphonography

Retro Kitchen ? Iphonography

Retro Kitchen ? Iphonography

Retro Kitchen ? Iphonography

Retro Kitchen ? Iphonography

This December View is not all that it seems – you could be forgiven for thinking you were back in the 70s…Why did they like orange and lime green so much in that decade ? Anyway, this is a kitchen with a twist. If you are in Edinburgh you can find it for yourself !