Last week, SGT asked bloggers about their favorite festivals
From Asia to Latin America to Australia, their answers were all over the map and covered everything from religious holidays to music to poetry. Having recently left the world’s Leading City for Festivals, I was interested to see what kinds of festivals are found in other parts of the world. We’ll start with my favorite Edinburgh festival.
Hogmanay, United Kingdom
My college friends Colin and Carly had decided to visit me. In December. In one of the world’s rainiest cities. They arrived before I returned from Christmas in North America, and by the time I settled back into my Newington flat, they were hyped up on an all-day bike tour punctuated only by short pit stops for some local brew. You might say they were ready to par-tay. After a nap, anyway.
Lucky for them, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay was just getting started. The website claims the festival is only three days long, but in reality, the celebrations go on for much longer than that. Edinburgh’s Christmas happens just prior to Hogmanay (generally speaking, NYE follows Christmas, no?), so there are rides, activities, and a German market in the Princes Street Garden throughout the month of December.
What is Hogmanay? According to Wikipedia, it is the Scots word for the New Year (in case you didn’t know, Scots is a language unto itself). One of the most common traditions associated with Hogmanay is the first-footing, whereby a household’s luck for the coming year is determined by the first to step over its threshold (no pressure or anything). Meanwhile, big cities like Glasgow and Edinburgh have massive parties (Edinburgh’s Hogmanay hosts the world’s largest street party at 80k strong in 2013/14) that involve musical performances, street fairs, and parades. It’s also one of the world’s largest blogger campaigns — have you ever seen #Blogmanay trending on twitter? Yeah, that’s a thing. And it happens in Edinburgh.
Here’s an idea of how big this festival is (sorry for the yelling):
Read on to discover a few more corners of our world.