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Published on : Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Recognised the world over as the home of Hogmanay, Scotland is getting set to delight this year with a series of spectacular events to welcome the Year of Homecoming Scotland in a simultaneous, choreographed moment at 20:14, which will unite events across the country.
Leading events and festivals creation company, Unique Events has been appointed by Homecoming Scotland to enhance well-established New Year’s Eve events in signature locations in Stirling, Inverness, Stonehaven and Biggar. Scotland’s flagship Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations, produced on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council will also be included in the themed activity.
This year, the time to watch will be 20:14 (just before quarter past eight in the evening). On 30 December, 2013 those attending Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Torchlight Procession will be the first to enjoy the start of the Year of Homecoming Scotland celebrations with a special 2014 Homecoming Moment during the Son et Lumière finale on Calton Hill.
On 31 December, 2013 thousands of locals and visitors across Scotland will have the opportunity to experience the build-up to the fantastic year ahead at Stirling, Inverness, Stonehaven and Edinburgh. Spectacular fire sculptures and large-scale light installations will illuminate the dark night skies across these locations, uniting Scotland in a simultaneous, choreographed moment at 20:14.
Although 20:14 will mark the start of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 celebrations, at midnight on 31 December, Biggar will celebrate the arrival of the Year of Homecoming 2014 with the lighting of a dedicated fire sculpture.
Revellers in Edinburgh, Inverness and Stirling will also be treated to a world-class Homecoming element within the ‘midnight moment’ firework displays. These locations will also enjoy exclusive viewings of an atmospheric short-film on their live event screens, featuring world famous Scottish landscapes and event locations for the big year ahead. Party-goers will also be urged to join in, for the first time, in a country-wide rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
Homecoming Scotland themed fireworks will also be on show at Stonehaven, bringing a spectacular climax to the celebrations and the traditional hurling of the fireballs into the harbour around 00:30 on 1 January, 2014.
First Minister Alex Salmond said:
“The eyes of the world will be on Scotland in 2014 and Scotland will provide a special welcome to the world during those twelve months. Our unique offering has just been recognised by Lonely Planet which named Scotland one of the top countries in the world for travellers in 2014.
“The second Year of Homecoming offers something for everyone; whether it’s enjoying our inspiring natural resources and outdoor activities, experiencing our vibrant culture, creativity and ancestral heritage or savouring the best of Scotland’s food and drink, there are many reasons to visit Scotland in 2014.
“Combined with the stellar international sporting events of the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, this programme of events will allow us to celebrate all that gives the nation its worldwide reputation as a destination with warmth and heart. There’s no more fitting time to begin the celebrations than at 20:14 hours on Hogmanay.”
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland said:
“2014 is going to be an exceptional year for Scotland, so we wanted to start the year with an exceptional celebration. Homecoming Scotland is all about celebrating our home – Scotland – and as we’re known as the home of Hogmanay the world over, this is our moment.
“We want communities, families and visitors from home and abroad all to come together on the 31 December 2013 to smile, celebrate and most importantly look forward to 2014 – the year when Scotland welcomes the world. This is our time to unite and be proud of our country as we prepare to host a plethora of outstanding events including the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and of course hundreds of events as part of Homecoming. Bring on 20:14 so we can get started!”
Pete Irvine, Director of Unique Events, said:
“2014 is an unprecedented event year for Scotland, and Hogmanay is the natural launch pad for the Year of Homecoming. While Edinburgh’s Hogmanay is world-renowned and we will be kicking off the Homecoming Launch and 2014 at our Torchlight Procession on 30 December, we are very much looking forward to working with other cities and towns across Scotland in the first truly collective celebration of the New Year.”
Celebrations to welcome 2014 will also take place the length and breadth of the country as part of Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme which begins on St Andrew’s Day on 30 November and includes Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns night on 25 January. Hogmanay supported events through Winter Festivals include Glasgow Loves Hogmanay, the Ceilidh Festival at award-winning arts centre An Lanntair in Stornoway, The Red Hot Highland Fling in Inverness, Hogmanay Celebrations in the Honest Toun at Musselburgh, Stonehaven Hogmanay – Open Air in the Square, and Stirling and Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations. Gig on the Brig in Ellon and New Year celebrations in Ashton Lane Glasgow are also part of the Homecoming Scotland 2014 overall programme of events.
Source:- Visit Scotland