EDINBURGH’S Hogmanay celebrations went down a storm last night, despite high winds leading to similar events at Stirling’s Castle Esplanade being cancelled.Around 75,000 revelers from around the world descended upon Scotland’s capital city, and enjoyed dry weather with clear skies for the event.
The second of four fireworks displays lit up the sky above the capital just as thousands of people were turned away from the Stirling celebrations due to high winds.
Party-goers briefly stopped dancing at 10pm to gaze upwards at the stunning red and gold display which enjoyed clear skies after a light rain in the early part of the evening.
Pop star Lily Allen headlined the main stage at the event, which was packed out with happy crowds warmly dressed in scarves and woolly hats.Thousands of fans cheered and screamed as the UK based superstar danced along the stage in a sparkly black sequinned jacket with tight black trousers and high-heeled boots.
She sang hits including ‘Not Fair’ and ‘LDN’, as the delighted crowd sang along. The stage was adorned with huge baby bottles, flashing lights and smoke machines.
Her performance was briefly halted for the countdown to midnight. Fireworks exploded off the side of the castle and lit up the sky in a spectacular 5-minute display.
Afterwards, many in the crowd joined in singing the ‘World’s Biggest Auld Lang Syne’.Karen Wroughton, 47, from Surrey, said that she came to Edinburgh to bring in the New Year before moving to New Guinea in nine days time.
She said: “This is the first time I’ve been to Edinburgh – I decided to come and visit friends and celebrate here this year.
“The atmosphere is incredible and it’s a great celebration before I head off.”
The event kicked off at 7.30 pm with a concert at St Giles Cathedral. Retro act Hot Dub Time Machine took to the stage on the Mound in the City Centre at 9pm, and got the crowd dancing with ‘Rock Around The Clock Tonight’ by Bill Haley and the Comets.Other top-notch musical acts included Eddie Reader who headlined the Scottish music stage, and Edinburgh’s own Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers on the Waverley Stage.
As the countdown to midnight began, cheering and fireworks could be heard as far away as Leith.
Sylvia Arza and Maurizio Cardenas travelled to the event from Mexico City.
It was the first time either of the couple, both 26, had been to Edinburgh.Mr Cardenas said: ” We’re very excited. It’s our first time here and so far we love it.”
Natpraparm Zigrino, 48, travelled 9,500km from Thailand to spend Hogmanay in Edinburgh with her daughter Joanna, who is a student.
Mrs Zigrino said: “I came over so that I could be with Joanna. She is in her 4th year at University and we don’t see her often.”
Joanna added: “We hope that 2015 will be a good year for everyone.”Students from across the UK also flocked to the capital city.
Vincent Chan, 22 from Malaysia, and pals Carrie Chung, 21, and Xi Shu, 22, from China, travelled to Edinburgh from Leeds university to join in the fun.
Vincent said: “Edinburgh is very beautiful – even more than we thought it was going to be. We’re mainly here for the street party and to see the fireworks.”