The Scottish capital begins its increasingly elaborate Winter Festival season on November 24 with Light Night. The great switch-on marks the start of more than a month of Christmas and Hogmanay activities in Edinburgh.
Light Night action will centre on George Street, The Mound and St Andrew Square. Edinburgh’s Christmas begins with the first turn of the Edinburgh Wheel at 10am. Those taking a ride will be able to enjoy panoramic views across the city and down to the skaters and shoppers thronging the ice rink and German market.
The opening events are located around the city centre, with music, fireworks, performance and processions. The light projection display on George Street will be augmented by Christmas characters walking among the crowds, leading spectators to The Mound, where the Norwegian Christmas Tree will be lit. Music lovers can enjoy an atmospheric Norwegian Carol Night in St Giles’s Cathedral at 7pm.
Visitors and locals will be impressed that, for the first time, Princes Street will be cleared for the festive season, with even the controversial tram works making way for revellers. With the road free of traffic, Christmas shopping in the Scottish capital might be a little less frenetic.
You can’t escape an Edinburgh Christmas launch without the skirl of the bagpipes inviting the crowds along to see the live music and dance performances in St Andrews Square.
There’s just the small matter of the Occupy Edinburgh camp that is currently in residence in the square. Protesters have agreed to make way for the city’s nativity scene, which will be on view from November 27.