Edinburgh will mark its 20th year of hosting one of the world’s largest new year celebration parties with a host of artistic, musical and sporting events to celebrate the new year of 2013.
Up to 80,000 revellers are expected to descend on Scotland’s capital for a three-day Hogmanay festival.
The Scottish band Simple Minds will headline a concert on New Year’s Eve and 7,000 torchbearers will march to Calton Hill. On New Year’s Day there will be theatrical and musical performances sharing the theme of luck, in a nod to the number 13.
People will be invited to throw a dice to decide their cultural destinations in Edinburgh’s Old Town for the afternoon, in an event called Your Lucky Day. Organisers said visitors could end up jigging at a Highland ceilidh or watching performances at venues including Greyfriars Kirk.
There will be a performance of the traditional play Galoshins, which was performed in Scotland up until the early 20th century, usually by children at people’s doors or in their front rooms.
Sport will be central to Edinburgh’s festivities and a triathlon will be open to individuals and teams. Competitors will tackle a 400m swim in the Commonwealth pool, an 11-mile bike ride around Arthur’s Seat and a three-and-a-half mile run. For families and younger runners there will be a separate duathlon race involving two runs and a bike ride.
At an event dubbed Edinburgh’s Dogmanay, crowds will be able to watch Alaskan malamutes, samoyeds, Canadian eskimo dogs and Siberian huskies competing in sleigh races.
The Mercury-nominated The Maccabees, Dundee’s The View and Reverend and the Makers are among the bands taking part. Seven screens will be stationed along Princes Street as DJs play a Hogmanay event called REW1ND3R, touted as the world’s largest open-air nightclub.
Pete Irvine, artistic director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said “This is the 20th year of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and every year, in response to ever-changing circumstances, we make it different and create what we believe to be the best new year celebration in the world.
“The REW1ND3R is a bold and exciting development and we think it raises the bar as well as the spirit and temperature. We’re looking forward to a very hot night in our possibly cold but, as always, cool city. This will be another one of 20 great nights to remember.”
Fiona Hyslop, Scotland’s culture secretary, said: “Edinburgh’s Hogmanay promises once again to be a significant highlight of Scotland’s winterfestivals, and will see the year of creative Scotland out in spectacular style. It plays a major part in promoting Scotland’s rich culture and heritage on a world stage. That is why the Scottish government has awarded £200,000 to support the Your Lucky Day elements of this diverse and exciting programme of events.”
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