The Scots lead the way when it comes to celebrating New Year. In fact, it’s probably the most important day on their calendar. The occasion – known as Hogmanay – receives much more fanfare than Christmas Day. This is partly because December 25th wasn’t celebrated as a public holiday until 1958, as well as the fact that the traditions of Hogmanay stretch back hundreds of years. If you’re heading to the Highlands this year, here are some amazing rituals that you can be a part of.


From the biggest cities to the smallest villages, you can expect there to be plenty of celebrations in Scotland. This can include things such as street parties, bonfires and concerts. If you’re fortunate enough to have mountain views, you should find that come the stroke of midnight, they light up from fireworks in the distance.

Three days of festivity

In England and Wales, New Year’s Day usually signals the end of the festive season. However, the Scots also have January 2nd as a public holiday so that they can celebrate Hogmanay for a third day. If you’re lucky enough to be in the Highlands, you should find that there’s still a buzz in the air well into the first week of January.

Family-focused events

The Scots put major emphasis on spending time with their friends, family and loved ones during Hogmanay. No matter who you’re on a getaway with, you can join in with this by spending the day walking, biking, relaxing and just generally enjoying the company of your nearest and dearest in the picturesque Highlands.


If you’re in luxury self-catering accommodation, you’ll have a choice whether you want to join in the fun or shut yourself off from the world. If you choose to take it easy, be sure to follow some of the traditions yourself. The Scots like to sing Auld Lang Syne when the clock strikes 12, and they also believe in first footing – a ritual where it’s supposedly lucky for a tall, dark male to be the first to enter the property after midnight. These traditions are all part of the fun in Scotland during Hogmanay.

Enjoy your break

Booking accommodation is your first step to celebrating Hogmanay in the Highlands. You’ll surely find it’s the perfect opportunity to relax and soak up the culture of Scotland.