On behalf of City of Edinburgh Council, Underbelly today revealed details of the Torchlight Procession.
On 30th December, the historic streets at the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town will flow with a flaming river of light as thousands gather for the magical Torchlight Procession in partnership with VisitScotland, providing a spectacular start to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.
Reminiscent of the ancient customs of Hogmanay in Scotland hundreds of years ago when festivities would include the lighting of bonfires, rolling blazing tar barrels down hills and tossing torches, fire has long been considered a symbol of rebirth and new beginnings and is at the heart of the opening of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations.
At Holyrood Park where the procession culminates, torchbearers will make the shape of two people reaching out a hand in friendship representing the theme of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, Be Together. The image will be captured from the air creating an image to be shared with the world – Scotland’s message of welcome and friendship against the backdrop of its capital city.
Leading the procession from just East of St Giles’ Cathedral down the Royal Mile and into Holyrood Park, is a 40 strong cast from Scotland’s pioneering Celtic Fire Theatre company, PyroCeltica who’s Highland Warriors showcase a dazzling array of fire skills featuring fire fans, huge flaming claymores and fire staffs, set to the booming beats of Edinburgh’s Harbinger Drum Crew.
There are still some tickets available to join the families, friends, residents and visitors and to take part in the procession joining pipe, drum and dance bands from across Scotland, including Bigger RBL (Royal British Legion) Pipe Band, Cockenzie & Port Seton RBL Pipes & Drums, Scottish Borders Pipe Band, The Edinburgh Samba School, Hawick Scout Pipe Band, Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Pipe Band, Glencorse Pipe Band, Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band, Edinburgh Postal Pipe Band and Pulse of the Place bringing a range of traditional and contemporary styles to keep the procession moving to an eclectic Scottish beat
The event’s house band, The Torches, and guest artists Clanadonia whose music features in Outlander and who have played major events from T in the Park to the Opening Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, will then take to the stage in Holyrood Park to entertain everybody until the event comes to a finish with sparkling fireworks lifting from Calton Hill at 9pm.
Tickets are £3, or £14 for those who’d like to carry a torch, with 50p from each ticket donated to OneCity Trust. Through initiating and funding various projects in Edinburgh, the Trust aims to fight social exclusion in the Scottish capital. Only last year, 50p donations from tickets to the Torchlight Procession and Silent Light at Edinburgh’s Christmas raised a total of almost £30,000 for OneCity Trust.
The Torchlight Procession is being delivered in partnership with VisitScotland and its EventScotland team, who have been a long-term supporter of the event, which this year is estimated to attract 40,000 people to take part.