More ways to celebrate Scotland’s Winter season

Scotland's Winter Festivals funded events announced 

The Minister for International Development and Europe, Dr Alasdair Allan, has announced an award of £390k to be granted to events across Scotland as part of the Scotland’s Winter Festival programme 17/18.  

Celebrating Scotland’s three national days, St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay, and Burns night, this year’s unique programme supports a fantastic range of 23 events across 17 local authority areas making this year bigger and better than ever before.

From toasting our patron saint on St Andrew’s Day, 30 November to Burns Night on January 25, and with Hogmanay in between, the spirit and fun of Scotland’s winter season is celebrated with a range of exciting events. From storytelling to torchlight processions, from live music to beautiful light festivals the variety of events will welcome locals and tourists alike to celebrate Scotland’s culture, traditions and heritage.

Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for International Development and Europe, said:

“Scotland’s Winter Festivals is an exciting and diverse events programme, offering Scots both at home and abroad the chance to celebrate everything great about our wonderful country during the winter months.

“St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns Night are key dates in our national calendar and I am delighted that the Scottish Government is able to contribute £390,000 that will allow these days to be celebrated accordingly.

“23 events will take place across 17 different local authorities, with Orkney and Shetland also hosting for the first time. This means that Scotland’s Winter Festivals will truly be spread across all of Scotland, highlighting our contribution to the world in our own unique way.”

Liz Scobie, chairman, West End Festival said:

“We’re delighted once again to have the support from the Scotland’s Winter Festival programme to deliver another torchlight parade in Glasgow’s west end, celebrating St Andrew’s Day.

“We hope to draw people from near and far to participate and spectate in the spectacle which demonstrates real community spirit and inclusion. Let’s help put St Andrew’s Day firmly on the map.”

EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, will be supporting the following events through funding received from the Scottish Government:

St Andrew’s Day Events

Oban Winter Festival 17/11/2017 - 26/11/2017
A ten day festival featuring St Andrew’s Day celebrations, markets, parades, fireworks, street entertainers, fairgrounds, family events, pipe bands, ceilidhs, whisky tasting, and so much more.

Glasgow's St Andrew's Day Torchlight Parade 30/11/2017
Community torchlight procession through the streets of Glasgow’s west end to mark Scotland’s Patron Saint Day, with pipe bands, samba drummers and fire performers.

St Andrew’s Day: At the Ends of the Earth 02/12/2017 – St Andrews
A range of events on offer in the daytime includes market stalls, lantern making workshops and circus skills workshops. In the evening, there will be outdoor ceilidh followed by a lantern procession. The celebrations will culminate in a spectacular fire show with a magical firework display at the town’s ancient Harbour.

The Saltire Festival 30/11/2017 - 03/12/2017 – East Lothian       
The Saltire Festival is an annual celebration of St. Andrew’s Day, bringing together the very best of Scotland in the Home of the Flag. Visitors can discover all that Scotland has to offer; the beautiful outdoors and stunning coastal landscape; delicious food & drink, created with the finest local produce; a long history and fascinating heritage; and hugely entertaining music, arts and comedy.

illumination: Harbour Festival of Light 30/11/2017 - 03/12/2017  - Irvine, Ayrshire
Irvine’s historic waterfront will twinkle with lights this St Andrew’s Day as the Scottish Maritime Museum’s award-winning four day winter spectacular, illumination: Harbour Festival of Light, returns with even more sparkle. Festival highlights include the jaw-dropping illumination Light, Fire and Aerial Art Spectacular in and around the vast Linthouse, the Light Trail, lantern parade, firework displays and food and craft fair.

St Andrews Day Celebrations Loch Lomond Shores 02/12/2017 - 03/12/2017 
A weekend of Scottish-themed celebration for St Andrews Day. Includes fireworks, music, activities, Scottish food & drink and more, suitable for all ages.

Scottish Storytelling Centre - Winter Festivals 28/11/2017 - 27/01/2018 - Edinburgh  The Scottish Storytelling Centre delivers an inclusive celebration of winter traditions, across generations, cultures and societies, from St Andrew’s Day celebrations to Burns Night.

Night at the Museum 24/11/2017 - 26/01/2018 – Glasgow
The Hunterian Museum will come to life for St Andrew’s Day to celebrate forgotten histories and heritage. From Peter Pan to Outlander, modern Scottish fantasy as portrayed in literature, film and TV, provides the theme for this dazzling event. Working in partnership with the Centre for Robert Burns Studies at University of Glasgow, The Hunterian will also host a Night at the Museum event celebrating the works of the bard in translation for Burns Night 2018.

Scotland’s Winter Festivals at An Lanntair 27/11/2017 - 27/01/2018 – Stornoway, Lewis
An Lanntair’s Winter Festival events begin with a full week of activities to celebrate St Andrew’s day including cinema, food and drink taster sessions, a quiz night and, of course, the best contemporary and traditional music available. We mark the New Year season with performances by ceilidh band Hò-rò and our annual showcase of local musicians Willie Campbell and Friends, and complete the season with a specially commissioned concert of the work of Robert Burns for string quartet.

Hogmanay Events

Edinburgh's Hogmanay 30/12/2017 - 01/01/2018  
Marking the start of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will celebrate Scotland’s young citizens by giving them the limelight with the fiery finale of the popular Torchlight Procession (30 Dec) sharing with the world their #Scotword. On the night itself, the Street Party will return bigger and better than ever with Concert in the Gardens headlined by Rag ‘n’ Bone Man. Some fantastic new flavours have been added such as Bairns Afore, giving children their midnight moment early on in the evening, Ceilidh under the Castle, and Hogmanay HQ, an exclusive VIP party at Assembly Hall, so there is something for everyone at this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Hogmanay in the Honest Toun 31/12/2017 – Musselburgh
The Brunton, Musselburgh, hosts a day filled with fantastic activities for families to celebrate Hogmanay including lantern making, samba drumming, ceilidh swinging, storytelling, puppet theatre, pantomime and an early evening FREE Lantern Parade with spectacular FREE Fireworks Display at Fisherrow Links. You can welcome in 2018 with Hogmania! A family friendly evening ceilidh with live music, dancing, pipers and refreshments.

Per Mare Stromness Yule Log Competition 31/12/2017 – Stromness
This is the recreation of a traditional street game last played in the 1930s. Two teams from the North and South of the town compete to pull the log (ropes attached) along the street to their respective goals. Anyone can join in if they have been born or lived in the parish of Stromness.

Hogmanay 2017 with The Revellers 31/12/2017 - 01/01/2018 - Mareel, Shetland
See 2017 out in style with Shetland ‘Folk/Rock Juggernaut’ The Revellers and Friends at Mareel. See out the New Year with some of the best of Shetland’s musical talent, including The Revellers, Arthur Nicolson Band, Vair, Kansa and Hom Bru and dance your way into 2018 with the Alan Nicolson Dance Band.     

Stirling’s Hogmanay 31/12/2017
Stirling Council will celebrate Scotland’s Winter Festival 2017 by hosting a wide range of events that celebrate modern and traditional Scottish culture. Stirling’s largest ever Hogmanay midnight fireworks display is at the centre of the celebrations. This is an event you will want to be a part of. A time to meet with family and friends and bring in the bells in Stirling style!

Fire and Light 01/01/2018 - 02/01/2018 – Helix Park, Falkirk
Illuminate and energize your New Year celebrations with Fire & Light, an incredible outdoor experience. Get wrapped up with friends and family for a walk to take in the night air and explore some spectacular sights including the magnificent Kelpies.

Burns Night Events

Big Burns Supper 18/01/2018 - 28/01/2018 – Dumfries
Big Burns Supper is Scotland’s landmark Burns Night event which takes place in Dumfries and features a heady mixture of cabaret, comedy, music and entertainment in over 30 different venues as the town goes bonkers for 11 days of winter magic.

Burns Unbound 21/01/2018 - Edinburgh
With a packed programme of creative activities and performances, bairns and big yins alike will find plenty to enjoy at the day-long celebration of the poetry and legacy of Robert Burns. Wear your favourite tartan, experience live Scottish music, discover some braw Burns poetry and get creative at our craft stations.

Big Burns Stramash 2017 25/01/2018 – 27/01/2018 – Inverness
The Big Burns Stramash 2018 is all about young people; comprising of a variety of different events to suit those from toddlers to those who are very nearly grown-ups to get the national Year of Young People off to a bang in the Highlands!

Red, Red Rose Street 25/01/2018 - 27/01/2018- Edinburgh
A festival celebrating all things Burns, with a variety of different events, activities and animation, engaging with businesses, locals and visitors, featuring a variety of free, ticketed and drop in entertainment across all three days.

Burns' Birthday in Mauchline 27/01/2018 - 28/01/2018 – East Ayrshire
Burns’ Birthday in Mauchline, organised by East Ayrshire Leisure, invites residents of Ayrshire and visitors to the region to embrace all aspects of traditional and contemporary arts, by offering opportunities for involvement in a celebration of the work of Burns, with particular reference to Mauchline.

Burns Unbroke 25/01/2018 - 10/03/2018 – Edinburgh
Burns Unbroke is a new contemporary multi-arts festival, offering new interpretations of the work of Robert Burns. The project‘s innovative visual arts programme features over 30 visual artists and includes newly commissioned work by four Scottish based artists. The focused programme of events includes an Alternative Burns Night, spoken word performances, children’s performances and a tailor made programme of music.

Burns Alicht 27/01/2018 – South Ayrshire
Journey, this Burns season into Burns Alicht, a unique sparkling birthplace tour in celebration of Scotland’s poet Robert Burns. Discover special illuminations, become enchanted by mischievous sights, sounds and entertainment and delight in landmarks coming alive. This special evening concludes with a finale burning of John Barleycorn to the sound of tribal drums!

Perth Riverside Light Nights - Burns Night 27/01/2018 – 28/01/2018    
Perth’s Riverside Light Nights will tell the story of how Robbie Burns started his life as a poor tenant farmer and through channelling his intellectual energy into poetry became one of the most famous characters of Scotland’s cultural history. With stunning lighting, music, street theatre, dance and folklore the life and work of Robbie Burns will be portrayed to all that attend.

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