Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) are the most popular festivals taking place at the end of each year. If you’re in Edinburgh in December or early January, there are many events that you can take advantage of while you’re here!

Edinburgh’s Christmas starts on 18th November 2016 and ends on 7th January 2017. During this time, shows, free events and attractions are organised and the entire city is decorated to celebrate Christmas. When the sun goes down, you will see splendid and sumptuous lights and decorations on trees, buildings and restaurants. Here are some events, attractions, shows or markets that you will be able to see:

Christmas Tree Maze:

As the title tells you, it’s a maze across Christmas trees. You will have fun doing this. And inside the maze, you will see the Elves workshops.

Ice Skating:

skating around the round rink 01

Ice Skating takes place on St Andrew Square. It’s a funny activity that all the family can share at the same time ! You can hire a pair of skates directly on place. People on wheelchairs are also welcome on the rink.

Santa’s Grotto:
Joyeux Noel Lou ! - Steve.© -
Every child would probably wish to sit on Santa’s knees and tell him their wishes. But actually this is possible. From 19th November until 24th December 2016, young children can visit Santa in his Grotto and receives a wee gift.

Light Night:

It is a family event which will be held on 20th November. Shows and choirs will perform on George Street in front of 20,000 spectators.

Santa Run:


It is a run that is 2.5 km long. This run is for everybody, competitive or casual athletes. The organization of this run is making a fund-raising for children who have a life threatening illness in Scotland. Usually, you will see people running with a costume of Santa Claus.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is the Feast between the 30th December and the 1st January 2017. During those 3 days, incredible bands, chorales or fireworks will take place, as well as Scottish traditional music and street parties. Hogmanay is in a certain way the Scottish Feast to celebrate New Year. Here are some activities for this year:

Street Party:


This party is taking place on 31st December, from 7pm until 1am. DJs and live bands will fill the streets with live music in order to welcome the New Year 2017.

Old Town Ceilidh:

Ceilidh 5

This event takes place at the same time as the Street Party but in the Old Town of Edinburgh. If you want to experience the Scottish culture, go for it! As there will be traditional music, Ceilidh, food & drink from Scotland.

Candlelit Concert:


Taking place on 31st December, Candlelit Concert is a celebration of baroque music. It’s at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh.

 Midnight Moment:


Happy New Year ! All is said, or nearly: Midnight Moment is the passage to the new year 2017. At midnight, you will see fabulous fireworks from the Castle of Edinburgh but also from Calton Hill. And icing on the cake, You will have the chance to admire four fireworks ! Yes, in Edinburgh you have four fireworks which take place at 9, 10, 11 and 12pm during this night. So, if you miss one, no worries !


On the first January, between 1pm and 5pm, several artists will showcase in the streets of Edinburgh. You will discover Scottish innovative artists in music, art and theater. Don’t miss this!

And here, two videos from the celebration of Hogmanay in Edinburgh and in Scotland:



For more information, have a look at those websites: