Nira Caledonia
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Going Hogmanay Wild
Homan-what? Hogmanay is Scottish for the last day of the year; our New Year’s Eve. The Scots have turned a banal party and turned it into a 3 day festival extravaganza. Celebrations begin with 8000 torch bearers, accompanied by traditional pipes and drums, marching from the George IV bridge. A spectacular parade of thousands of men in seductive plaid skirts. Lily Allen will be there this year (2014), singing in the New Year from the Concert in the Gardens and there is a candlelit classical music concert at St Gilles Cathedral for the quieter crowd. Fireworks go off at midnight, as the entire population breaks into a round of Auld Lang Syne. Everyone comes together the next day for the oh-so-appropriately named Loony Dook, a noon parade that ends with a frigid dip in the Firth of Forth. I can't imagine a better place to enjoy the festivities than the Nira Caledonia Hotel. I'm addicted to their traditional Scottish breakfast (featuring a dozen house made jams, including a whiskey infused marmalade and steel cut oats), their location on a quiet residential street that is just blocks from all the action, the Blackwood Bar & Grill with it's salmon from a local loch and angus beef from the Highlands, and their jam. I love that jam. This year, I can't wait to get the Hogmanay party started!
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