How to make the most of the year’s most disappointing party.
True partiers know that New Year’s Eve is a big let down. The anticipation creates unrealistic expectations of unbridled hedonism; bars, restaurants and clubs, seizing on the hype, jack up prices. The expectation that everyone will be partying drives the irregular revellers out of the house for a change and their inexperience has a real suffocating effect on your partying experience. More bodies in nightlife spaces that seem crowded on a Tuesday night in April; novice partiers slowing down the service ordering convoluted and time-consuming cocktails. We, the battle-hardened party veterans know that you want to be brief at the bar and get the most bang for your buck — taking up 10 minutes of the bar tender’s time while he conjures up a €12 potion is far worse option than a swift rum and coke, or vodka and water, or a bottle of house plonk — anything but that sugared-down glorified fruit juice with a sniff of liquor.
But it doesn’t need to be that way! If you’re in Europe this New Year’s Eve you can make it so you ring in 2018 swamped in fun. How? By partying Scottish style.
A real shins up in the Scottish capital, Hogmanay is the how they call the new year in the local dialect. Say it now, to yourself, in your best Scottish accent. Did anyone see you do that? Awesome. Hogmanay is quite simply a very elaborate street party, a wild night of music and dancing across the city featuring live acts and world-renowned fireworks. It’s a mixture of the traditional and the modern, incorporating both kilt-wearing haggis ho-downs and hip hop.
Bringing in the New Year with a gusto is a Scottish tradition dating back to the viking invasions and to this day retains some ridiculous customs like desiring that a tall, dark stranger is the first to enter your house once the clock strikes 12, but only if he comes bearing a lump of coal. When you’re Hogmanaying this year, and you’ve got a bit of height and tan going for you, be sure to stuff a few lumps of coal in your pocket.
It is also the birthplace of the globally sung, Auld Lang Syne, and thus the perfect place to belt out one of the world’s oldest and greatest drinking songs. Grab your pals in an embrace and start swaying around and belting out an appropriation of the song’s lyrics.
Za za la la blah blah ya ya, za za la la la laaaaaaaa.
There’s also a fire torch parade that is definitely not held with tiki torches. Nice, inclusive torches are used in this throwback to pagan times and the New Year’s proximity to the winter solstice.
As you can tell, there is so much more to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay than just another New Year’s spent in your local watering hole bumping shoulders with your aunt’s slurry friends. This is an ancient celebration given a modern interpretation and Stoke will be there with pockets full of coal and bellies full of whiskey. You wanna join us? Well come on Willy, gie yerself ower haur an’ book noo!
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