Edinburgh’s Christmas gets off to a spectacular start on Thursday 29 November as the city marks the beginning of the countdown to Christmas. The show, created especially for Edinburgh by performing arts company Emergency Exit Arts, will be the highlights of Light Night and St Andrew’s Day evening on 30 November.
The city’s annual Light Night will start at 5pm when a giant Santa Claus will lead an assortment of characters through the crowds up to The Mound, ready for a magical journey through the Christmas Dream Machine – a bespoke show which will reveal the dreams of a child at Christmas. The performance will include illuminations, aerial performances and pyrotechnics, culminating in the lighting of Edinburgh’s Christmas Tree – a gift from the people of Hordaland in Norway.
After all the excitement on The Mound, a Christmas Brazilian Samba Band will play and dance its way along Princes Street at 6pm as the action switches to St Andrew Square Garden where an after show will entertain late night shoppers and revellers. The celebrations continue until 8pm with a show featuring the finalists of Edinburgh’s Got Talent, the speed painting talents of Jon Hicks, comedy from Bread and Butter, new girl group Gurlesque, the cast from Dirty Dancing, dramatic performances from the pipes and drums of Clanadonia and a fire spectacular from Flame Oz.
Lord Provost, Rt Hon Donald Wilson, welcomed the start of the festivities saying: “The Light Night ceremony shows Edinburgh at its best and this spectacular evening is always a fantastic way to mark the start of six weeks of Christmas celebrations. This is a very special time of year for Edinburgh and its residents and we are immensely proud that so many people choose to share their Christmas with us and enjoy everything our wonderful city has to offer.”
Light Night marks the start of the city’s exciting six week festive programme, with events taking place across the weekend, to get locals and visitors alike into the festive spirit.
On Friday 30 November Edinburgh Castle will become the focus of celebrations to mark St. Andrew’s Day. Produced in association with Scotland’s Winter Festivals, lantern making workshops will take place at the Castle during the day, with a specially created show – Carnival at the Castle – at 7pm on the Esplanade. The performance will start with children marching in procession with their lanterns while the air is filled with the sound of pipes and drums.
The show will be woven around the myths and stories of how St. Andrew became Patron Saint of Scotland and how the Saltire become the national flag, along with a celebration of Scotland’s great thinkers, inventors, artists and sporting heroes. The story will be told through a high energy, imaginative mix of dance, music, projections, illumination and fireworks, transforming one of Scotland’s most iconic buildings, Edinburgh Castle, into an even more magical place.
This spectacular event will be one of the highlights of the Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme of events, which will include Hogmanay on 31 December and culminate with Burns Night on the 25 January 2013.
Rounding off the weekend of celebrations, the traditional Nativity Carol Concert will take place in St. Andrew Square Garden on Sunday 2 December from 4pm. All are welcome to come along and mark the first Sunday of Advent by singing carols around Tim Chalk’s much-loved Nativity Scene, kindly commissioned and donated to the city by Sir Tom and Lady Farmer. The concert will be conducted by Cardinal Keith Patrick O’Brien and ‘Edinburgh Churches Together’, with singing led by Exile Gospel Choir, accompanied by St Peter’s Primary School Choir.
Full details of all events along with timings and prices can be found at www.edinburghschristmas.com