Friday, December 28, 2012

Release Party- Day 4!

Good Morning! Welcome to Day 4 of my Release Party for Simple Treasures! Now, this particular story takes place in Edinburgh during Hogmanay, or New Year's. I thought today I'd show you some pictures of the year I spent in Edinburgh for Hogmanay.
First, Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year. The Hogmanay Festival is HUGE in Edinburgh, with THOUSANDS of visitors every single year. Indeed, tickets sell out early. I think we worked on preparing our plans the spring before we actually wanted to be there.
This is Edinburgh Castle. When my friends and I walked out of our hotel, this was what we saw. From the hotel dining room, this is the scene. How beautiful, huh?
These next two pictures were taken on the night og the Torchlight Procession, December 30th. Thousands of people gather on the Royal Mile, with bought torches. At the start of the line, there are bagpipers and people light the torches. Each group turns behind them and lights the torches of the people behind them. In this first picture, here I am lighting my torch.

Once all the torches are lit, the group begins the walk from the Royal Mile, through the streets of Edinburgh and up to Calton Hill. I can tell you the pictures don't do this justice. It was such an amazing feeling to be a part of something so fabulous.
In Simple Treasures, Joanna really wants to participate in this event. Actually, she has looked forward to joining in many of the Hogmanay festivities in Edinburgh, but she's a good and decent person and she chooses to put her life on the line by coming forward to tell the police about the crime she witnesses.

Once as many people as possible get to Calton Hill, there is some more music and then fireworks begin. In the distance, there is also a burning boat, which is symbolic of the early Torchlight Processions, the Up Helly Aa Fire Festival usually associated with the Shetlands of Scotland. 
The next day, December 31st, My friends and I spent the day wandering around Edinburgh. I went up on this Ferris wheel while some other friends climbed the Scott Monument, which is behind the Ferris wheel. It was windy up there, but so much fun! Then my friends and I had mulled wine, wandered around the stalls with knickknacks and listened to music.


After dinner, it was time to get ready to ring in the New Year. Because it was so cold, I had on about 2 or 3 layers. I was very surprised it was not so packed with people. Yes, there were literally THOUSANDS of people, but we could stand, sit, or dance as much as we wanted without bumping into anyone.
For more information on the Edinburgh Hogmanay Festival and some of my other pictures, feel free to visit the Celtic Hearts Blog. I wrote a guest post about Hogmanay in Edinburgh a few weeks ago.
Have you ever participated in a major New Year's Event? Or are you more low-key, spending the time with close friends and family? Share your thoughts, leave a comment and be in the running for the NEXT prize!

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