5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – New Year in Britain
5! 4! 3! 2! 1! Happy New Year!
Fireworks, champagne and Auld Lang Syne… there’s no better place to celebrate the New Year than Britain. Wherever you find yourself on New Year’s Eve, you’ll never be far from a party.
London hosts one of the best New Year’s Eve fireworks displays in the world. What better way is there to celebrate the New Year than a spectacular fireworks display while listening to the chimes of Big Ben?
As part of the capital’s festivities, a fireworks display at the London Eye will mark the start of the New Year. The display, which will be visible from many parts of London, will be just one of many activities taking place in the capital on New Year’s Eve.
On New Year’s Day, don’t miss the New Year’s Day Parade. Thousands of performers from all around the world take part in this annual spectacular, with marching bands and dance troupes from the United States, Japan and Europe all performing alongside British acts.
If you’re in Wales over the festive period, welcome the New Year at Cardiff‘s Calennig (New Year) celebrations. Calennig attracted over 30,000 revellers last year and this year’s event promises to be bigger and better.
There are celebrations for all the family – the free Admiral Family Fire Show kicks off the fun at 19:00 in the countdown to midnight. The Calennig Family Fun Fair is also open all night, so you can ride the Big Wheel, the traditional children’s carousel, or even the open-air ice rink at BMIbaby Cardiff Winter Wonderland.
And for the adults, Cardiff’s beautiful Civic Centre is the backdrop for the live music stage which will feature great entertainment into the early hours.
The Hogmanay celebrations in Scotland are probably inherited from the Vikings, who coming from further north than Scotland, paid more attention to the passing of the shortest day. Most Hogmanay celebrations and traditions start on 31 December, when it is traditional to clean out the house and clear your debts. Every year, most towns and cities in Scotland have public Hogmanay celebrations, usually involving firework displays.
The most famous Hogmanay celebration is in Edinburgh, where the celebrations have evolved into a 4-day winter festival. On 29 December, there’s a dazzling torchlight procession from from to Royal Mile to Carlton Hill overlooking the city. Thousands of people – some dressed as Vikings dragging a Viking warship – make their way up the Hill to set the ship alight, watch a firework display and enjoy lively musicians and entertainers.
30 December is the Night Afore Fiesta – a family carnival with music, dance and street theatre. On New Year’s Eve, it’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party, when thousands of people gather in the city centre for a night of concerts and partying. There’s also a concert at the foot of Edinburgh Castle, and funky ceilidh bands at East Princes Street Gardens, all ready to give you the best New Year’s Eve of your life!
But the Hogmanay celebrations don’t end there. There’s more on New Year’s Day (known as Ne’er’s Day). First, there’s the One o’clock Run, a gentle, 1-mile fun run that’s open to everyone. A family favourite is Edinburgh’s Dogmanay, where Samoyed and Siberian Huskies team up for dog sled races through Holyrood Park.
If you didn’t overindulge the night before, there’s the Edinburgh Triathlon, where you’ll have to swim 8 lengths of the Royal Commonwealth Pool, cycle 3 times round Arthur’s Seat (11miles) then go round it one more time on foot.
Alternatively, if you’re still suffering from the night before, why not wake yourself up by throwing yourself into the icy waters of the Firth of Forth? It’s called the Loony Dook, and might just be the perfect hangover cure.
There’s lots more celebrations on New Year’s Day, including the Hogmanay Jazz Fringe, The New Year’s Day McEwan Sessions and church services all over the city.
And if you think all this partying might prove too much for you, don’t worry, 2 January is a Bank Holiday in Scotland, so you’ll have lots of time to recover.