Edinburgh’s Winter Festivals 2015 / 16


Tim Chalk's Nativity Scene

Tim Chalk’s Nativity Scene

Edinburgh loves a festival and in winter we have Edinburgh’s Christmas and Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

There is also a celebration of St Andrew’s Day including free entertainment and things to do in St Andrew Square and special offers for Edinburgh’s attractions.  There are FREE TICKETS to Edinburgh Castle and other Historic Scotland sites for the weekend of 28/29 November.

Edinburgh residents get a 20% discount off all tickets from Edinburgh’s Christmas and discounted tickets for the Hogmanay Street Party.

Tim Chalk’s Nativity Scene will be in St Andrew Square and you can visit the Christmas tree on The Mound (an annual gift from the Hordaland County Council in Norway).

Make sure you also pop into Jenners over the festive period to see their enormous  Christmas Tree.

Here are some highlights of the winter festivals in Edinburgh:

  • Sunday 22nd NovemberLight Night. Despite the name, it takes place in the afternoon in George Street from 2-5pm, there will be stages with entertainment and Susan Boyle will be turning on the lights and a fireworks display at 4.50pm. FREE to attend.
  • Sunday 29th November – St Andrew’s day celebrations. Several free events to choose from and lots of offers on entry to Edinburgh attractions. Many of these offers run from mid-November.
  • Sunday 29th NovemberNativity concert in St Andrew Square. Starts at 3pm. FREE to attend.
  • Tuesday 1st – Thursday 24th December – 24 Doors of Advent. Back for 2015. Every day, a building around Edinburgh that’s usually closed to the public will open its doors. Buildings include: Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory, Gilmerton Cove and the City Chambers. FREE.
Santa in Inverleith Park

Santa in Inverleith Park

  • Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th December. The Charity Christmas Festival. Suitable for all ages, you can run, walk or toddle around Inverleith Park. Appearances from the man in red himself, leading the Parade from Stockbridge into Inverleith Park.
  • Tuesday 8th December – Charity carol concert at St Giles’ Cathedral for Bloodwise.
  • Thursday 10th December until Wednesday 24th December – The Christmas Tree Festival at St Andrew’s and St George’s West on George Street. Entry is free, but donations welcome. The charities this year are Amnesty International, Circle Scotland and Firsthand Lothian.
  • Sunday 13th December sees the Santa Run take place. Dress up as Santa and take part in this fun event suitable for all the family.
  • Monday 14th DecemberSt Columba’s Light a Light. The Tree of Remembrance will be light up at 6.30pm in Charlotte Square Gardens and remain lit until early 2016.
Pic: St Columbas' Hospice

Pic: St Columbas’ Hospice

  • Wednesday 16th – Friday 18th DecemberStories with Santa at the Scottish Storytelling Centre.

Winter theatre in Edinburgh

  • Cinderella at the Festival Theatre. 5th – 31st December.

Other Christmas / special events in Edinburgh include:

Torchlight Procession

Torchlight Procession

Heading into the New Year

  • Wednesday 30th December – Sees the annual Torchlight Procession take place, with thousands of torch carriers illuminating the city through the streets to a spectacular Son et Lumière and fireworks finale on Calton Hill.

Free Hogmanay buses will run again.

Edinburgh at Christmas time

Edinburgh at Christmas time

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