Pick from a range of interesting facts and detailed information about Scotland and the Scottish people.
Scotland is known the world over as a place of history and heritage as well as cutting edge art and culture
Study in Scotland and you will benefit from world-class teaching developed over centuries.
VisitScotland is the national tourism organisation, providing information on events, accommodation, travelling to Scotland and what to do when you get here.
Live & Workin Scotland
Key information on the practical aspects of moving to Scotland and where to get advice. Plus read about the experiences of people who have moved to Scotland from all over the world.
Scotland is renowned across the globe for its rich culture and heritage, and its contribution to the world past and present. From its thriving contemporary arts and music scene to its achievements in industry, medicine, science, law and literature, Scotland's story is one of immense achievement
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay to celebrate 20 years with biggest programme yet
The full programme of events for the world-famous Edinburgh’s Hogmanay festival has been announced, revealing an action-packed, three-day festival of music, dancing, fireworks and theatre, from Sunday, 30 December 2012 until Tuesday, 1 January 2013.
With a ‘Be Lucky’ theme for 2013, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrates 20 years this year with a new-look Street Party, a brand new route for the Torchlight Procession and the fullest programme of events for years on 1 January, including an exciting series of activities across the Old Town, appropriately called Your Lucky Day.
The festivities begin on Sunday, 30th December with a new route for the popular Torchlight Procession. Over 7,000 torchbearers led by massed pipes and drums and the Up Helly Aa’ Vikings from Shetland, together with an anticipated audience of over 25,000, will process through the city’s streets to the top of Calton Hill for the stunning Son et Lumière show and fireworks finale.
Also on Sunday 30 December, acclaimed artists Walker & Bromwich will launch their brand new installation in the Hawthornden Court at the National Museum of Scotland. Supported by the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, their spectacular interpretation of The Goddess Fortuna will be open to the public until Tuesday 1 January 2013.
On Monday 31 December, Concert in the Gardens will be headlined by Simple Minds, one of the most successful Scottish bands of all time, and will feature a special guest appearance from top Scottish indie band, The View. Local Edinburgh band, Bwani Junction, will kick off the event.
The Street Party once again offers a stellar line up of live bands. The Waverley Stage will be headlined by Mercury Prize nominees The Maccabees who will be joined by Reverend and the Makers and The OK Social Club. The Scottish Stage will be headlined by Admiral Fallow, with special guests Lau and Shooglenifty. For those who want for something more traditional, partygoers at the perennially popular Keilidh will be birling through the bells to The Brechin City Rollers, Hugh Macdiarmid’s Haircut and Ceildhdonia.
And in a UK first, the show’s producers are creating the world’s biggest open air nightclub with screens and speaker systems along the length of Princes Street.
REW1ND3R: The Biggest Party – In Years will feature a Wheel of Fortune selecting hits from the last 60 years of pop music from 1953 to 2013 which will be broadcast in sound and vision, mixing defining music moments through the years with iconic film and video material.
With five live stages and a spectacular Midnight Fireworks display from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle, not to mention the singing of the world’s largest Auld Lang Syne, Edinburgh once again promises to be a Hogmanay to remember, which is anticipated to welcome up to 80,000 party goers from Scotland, the rest of the UK and around the world, and be seen by a billion people in 150 countries around the world.
Tuesday 1 January 2013 definitely will be Your Lucky Day as visitors and residents are invited to celebrate the very best in Scottish culture with a whole festival of events and activities across the city in one afternoon.
Atmospheric theatre, spoken word, unique musical performances and even a lucky tearoom will be hidden in destinations around the city from the Greyfriars Kirk to The City Art Centre, The Roxy Hall to The Hub. Revellers will be invited to start at Destination 1, the National Museum of Scotland, and to throw a dice to decide their first destination. They allow the dice to decide their route around the Old Town for the rest of the afternoon.
Lucky participants might join in the dancing at the Highland Ceilidh or the Hogmanay Hoedown, enjoy inspiring music from young Scottish singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni or shiver at the folk song ghost story Crows Bones. They might immerse themselves in Duncan Chisholm’s Kin, a beautifully crafted journey into the past using music, narrative and film or listen to Words per Minute with author Alan Bissett; try The Luck Factor with Professor Richard Wiseman or enjoy a Scottish afternoon tea with a difference in The Lucky Tearoom. Audiences are expected to visit a number of performance destinations during the afternoon.
Your Lucky Day will culminate at Destination 13 in a spectacular street theatre show by French company Plasticiens Volants who have been commissioned to stage Big Bang, their stunning animation of the history of the world from the present back to that lucky day, around 13 billion years ago, when by current scientific consensus the universe was created.
Everyone who joins in Your Lucky Day will also have the chance to enter a lucky draw at Destination 13 to win an Exceedingly Lucky Break - a AAA VIP Pass to the very best of Scotland in 2013.
Other New Year’s Day events include the world-renowned Loony Dook – the annual New Year’s Day dip in the River Forth for the very brave (or the very daft).
Two popular events are also making a come-back to the programme this year. The Edinburgh Triathlon will feature a 400m swim, an 11 mile cycle, and a 3.5 mile run. Meanwhile, the ever popular Edinburgh’s Dogmanay will see Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed, Canadian Eskimo Dogs, Greenland Dogs and Siberian Huskies team up for an exhilarating afternoon of sport with timed races, using sleighs, racing riggs and scooters, as well as a novelty dog show, canicross, obedience and clicker training demonstrations and the chance for visitors to snuggle a sled-dog.