up helly aa vikings ediburgh hogmanay

Edinburgh’s Torchlight Procession with the Up Helly Aa Vikings

By now, I could probably label an end of the year trip to Scotland as an “annual” event. This was my third time crossing the pond for the purposes of spending New Year’s Eve in the glorious land of tartan and whisky. But I take nothing for granted and never assume anything is a given, so when I found out I would be able to go back for 2014/15, I was just as excited as the very first time the trip happened. Actually, I was more excited than ever before because it meant that I could also bring my boyfriend Danté with me this time. This will be the first of four posts about our experience!

The Torchlight Procession has been a favorite part of the festivities for me since the very first and this year, it was no different. Danté too found this tradition enthralling and rather than spoil it with words, mainly I want to show you just what it’s like with photos. SAMSUNG CSC

Every year the Lord Provost of Edinburgh greets the crowd and then proceeds to lead pipers in full tartan dress, followed by the Up Helly Aa Vikings and then all the participants with wax torches, on a route that concludes on the top of Calton Hill. This year it began at George IV Bridge. This was our full route: torchmap

The official description on the Hogmanay site says that:

“…the Torchlight Procession is the official start of three-days of spectacular Edinburgh’s Hogmanay events. Last year’s event welcomed over 35,000 participants and spectators, joining the Up Helly Aa’ Vikings, massed pipes & drums and thousands of torch carriers as they illuminate the city from our start position on George IV Bridge to the finale viewing areas at Waterloo Place and Calton Hill. The Torchlight Procession fireworks finale can be viewed across the city and beyond!”


These images were all created with my Samsung Camera NX1 or NX3000 cameras. Except the photo of Danté and I which was kindly captured by Fan Yibo. This experience was part of the #blogmanay campaign.

#blogmanay is brought to you by Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and is supported by ETAGEventScotlandVisitScotlandHomecoming Scotland 2014 and co-creators Haggis Adventures. Created and produced by Unique Events. As always all opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

  • January 09, 2015

    Gorgeous photos Kirsten – I love the close up shot of the kilts and the portraits! I wish I’d been there to enjoy this with you!

    • January 09, 2015

      Thank you dear Marie-Eve! I too wish you had been there to enjoy it with us.

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