Scotland’s Winter Festivals give nation chance to shine

Winter Festivals Launch

Scots and Scots at heart, both at home and abroad, are gearing up to celebrate all that is great about our nation during this year’s Scotland’s Winter Festivals.

The season of celebrations to mark Scotland’s distinct culture, unique heritage and creativity  runs from St Andrew’s Day on November 30 through Hogmanay to Burns Season at the end of January and will bring together lovers of all things Scottish from across the globe.

Highlights for St Andrew’s Day 2011 include:

- The successful Visit for Free weekend being expanded to include free or discounted entry to even more of Scotland’s best-loved visitor attractions.  Popular Historic Scotland attractions, such as Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, will again take part with Camera Obscura, Discovery Point, Glasgow Science Centre and the Scotch Whisky Experience among those joining in this year.

- A global focus for this year’s celebrations with worldwide participation in cities such as Beijing, Washington and Brussels.

- The launch of an international photo competition via the Blipfoto website to find the best image of our global celebrations

- A Scottish Universities’ St Andrew’s Day debate focussing on democracy and young people in 2011

Signalling the countdown to the celebrations, The Cabinet Secretary for Culture & External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:

"We know that Scotland’s festivals make a significant contribution to our economy. They showcase Scotland internationally and entice people from home and abroad to explore our incredible country.   

“By bringing together three of our most important cultural celebrations, Scotland's Winter Festivals demonstrate that Scotland is a great visitor destination and the perfect stage for events all year round".

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