Scotland sees in 2024 with fireworks and song

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Fireworks light up the Edinburgh skyline in the first minutes of 2024

Tens of thousands of partygoers watched fireworks explode over Edinburgh at the start of 2024.

As celebrations in homes and on streets across Scotland took place there was a particular focus on the country’s capital.

This year marked the 30th year of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations. Elsewhere there was a mass ceilidh staged in Inverness.

After several days of weather warnings, it was a clear cold night for most.

Visitors from more than 80 countries gathered in Edinburgh where 1990s band Pulp headlined a concert in Princes Street Gardens.

New Year partygoers, including Sophia and Scarlett from Dorset, gathered in Edinburgh as the clock struck midnight

The city’s programme of events started on Friday with the return of the torchlight procession after an absence of four years.

Funding difficulties meant it was missing in 2022 and the Covid pandemic saw it cancelled in 2020 and 2021.

About 20,000 people watched the “river of fire” make its way from the Meadows park throughout the Old Town to beneath Edinburgh Castle.

Al Thomson from Unique Assembly, which organised the events, told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Hogmanay morning that the 2023 party would be closer to the big events the city held before the pandemic.

All dressed up to party – thousands were in Edinburgh to see in the New Year
This group of revellers came from Brazil to celebrate Hogmanay in Edinburgh

He said: “We are still, as with all events and festivals across the country, in a period of recovery post-Covid.

“This is only the second year since the pandemic, but pretty much everything will be sold out. We want to gradually increase those numbers back to where they were pre-Covid and we are going in the right way.

“The public interest is there – people want to come and celebrate in Scotland.”

Mr Thomson said organisers had breathed a sigh of relief over the weather after days of disruption across the country from Storm Gerrit.

An outdoor party in Glasgow city centre attracted Hogmanay revellers

In Inverness there was the Red Hot Highland Fling – an event organisers were calling “one of the biggest ceilidhs on the planet”.

This is the first year Highland Council has charged a fee for the event which was previously free.

Councillors approved a £10 charge in August to generate up to £50,000 to help cover the cost of putting on 31 December celebrations.

Jo de Sylva, who is in charge of creative content for Inverness’ Highland Hogmanay, said: “Inverness is so well known for its Highland hospitality and Highland Council have decided to share that with everyone else.”

Three-time winner of the Scots Trad Music Award and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Siobhan Miller entertained Inverness revellers up to the bells

Three-time winner of the Scots Trad Music Award and BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winner Siobhan Miller entertained the crowds.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and they play an important role in our communities, enabling us all to connect and share memorable experiences.

“Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and our wider Winter Festivals are cornerstones of our globally acclaimed cultural calendar and I’m sure that this year’s special anniversary edition will once again be a success.”

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