Last night, making its return since 2019, the Torchlight Procession kicked off this year's Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations.
For the first time, the procession started at the Meadows and blazed a trail through Edinburgh's Old Town, creating a stunning river of fire as about 20,000 torch carriers made their way to the finishing point of beneath the majestic gaze of Edinburgh Castle.
But before the procession got underway, the Meadows was buzzing with excitement, and with fire performers, pipe bands and drummers for entertainment as the crowds gathered, the anticipation was stratospheric.
Leading the procession through Edinburgh’s historic Old Town was Shetland’s South Mainland Up Helly Aa’ Jarl Squad, who previously made history when they appointed their first ever female Jarl.
Marking the start of New Year celebrations around the world, the Torchlight Procession has become one of Edinburgh's Hogmanay's most iconic events, joining forces with acclaimed homelessness charity Social Bite to shine a light on homelessness and to raise vital funds to help those most in need this winter.
Whether you participate or spectate, you will never forget the ceremonial spectacle that is Edinburgh's Hogmanay Torchlight Procession.
📸🎥 Images & Reel by Jenna's Jamboree
ABOUT EDINBURGH HOGMANAY
Since the inaugural event in 1993, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay quickly grew into one of the world’s leading New Year celebrations, and over three decades has welcomed millions of visitors and locals to party in Scotland’s capital, the ‘Home of Hogmanay’.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay returned in 2022/23 and was a major factor in aiding economic recovery in the capital’s tourism and hospitality sector, generated over £48.5M for Scotland’s economy and continues to be a bucket list experience for people around the world looking to celebrate at the ‘Home of Hogmanay’.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is one of Edinburgh’s eleven major festivals, created in 1993, the festival quickly grew into a globally recognised event, attracting visitors from around the world to celebrate New Year in Edinburgh, the ‘Home of Hogmanay.
Celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay was first created and produced by Unique Events, on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council, in 1993.
Edinburgh based producers Unique Events & Assembly Festival joined forces in 2022 to form UniqueAssembly, and are contracted to create and produce the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival until 2024.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2023/24 is a key part of Scotland’s winter tourism calendar, generating over £48 million in economic benefit, with over 85,000 people anticipated to attend events in the city for the four-day celebrations.
Over 3.25 million revellers have experienced the world-famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party over the last 30 years
ABOUT THE PRODUCERS
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2023-24 is Scotland’s premier Winter Festival – celebrating 30 years of spectacular events which have positioned Edinburgh as one of the world’s greatest New Year celebrations and rightful place as the ‘Home of Hogmanay’.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is created and designed by collaborators UniqueAssembly, delivered by their highly experienced team, on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council.
UniqueAssembly Ltd produce the world-renowned Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations and on behalf of The City of Edinburgh Council deliver Edinburgh’s Christmas 2023 celebrations.
EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events by securing and supporting an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events. It provides funding opportunities and access to resources and information to develop the industry.
They are a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation, alongside Business Events and Development teams.
ABOUT SOCIAL BITE
Social Bite provides more than 180,000 items of food and hot drinks per year. In response to the pandemic, more than 800,000 emergency food packs and essential items were distributed.
Social Bite’s 2017 and 2018 Sleep in Park events in Scotland raised almost £8million and saw more than 18,000 people sleeping out.
With funds raised from Sleep in the Park events, The Social Bite Village was built in May 2018 and almost 100 people have since been housed in the bespoke accommodation.
The charity also launched a nationwide Housing First program to bring 830 rough sleepers of the streets into their own accommodation with support. More than 1333 people have now been given homes with support, and the response has been adopted by all local authorities in Scotland.
In 2019, the charity’s co-founder Josh Littlejohn MBE created The World’s Big Sleepout, which was a global campaign to raise awareness of homelessness. The campaign saw 60,000 members of the public Sleepout in 52 cities all over the world.
In 2021 the charity launched its nationwide Jobs First programme, with the aim of providing more than 60 real job opportunities with wrap-around support to people who have experienced homelessness by working with various employers on securing a wide range of jobs, across three years. So far they have supported over 40 people in a situation of homelessness into employment, working with over 8 employers across the UK.