Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations began last night with a helping hand from a group of Vikings from the 2017 Lerwick Jarl’s Squad.
The three-day event started with the torchlight procession which saw 20,000 people, led by the Vikings, marching through the capital’s streets.
And in a nod to 2018 being Scotland’s Year of Young People there was a special place for the junior Jarl’s Squad members, who were part of the 30-strong group that made the journey to Edinburgh.
The joined the throng as it processed down the Royal Mile, past Holyrood Palace and the Parliament to Holyrood Park. An additional estimated 25,000 people watched the stunning event. There a #ScotWord was made with the torches to launch the Year of Young People.
The word “braw” was chosen by young people to represent their pride in the nation.
The Jarl’s Squad championed their young members in their annual appearance at the procession, alongside the young #ScotWord champions who led discussions around the country to find the one word which sums up what makes young people proud to live in Scotland.
In a further celebration of the beginning of Year of Young People 2018 it was young performers from across Scotland including Pipe Idol Robbie MacIsaac who beat off three other finalists in the fierce final at Piping Live in 2017, members of Hawick Scout Pipe Band and Preston Lodge High School Pipe Band in Prestonpans that entertained the crowds.
Over 20 young pipers and drummers from Peoples Ford Boghall and Bathgate Caledonia Juvenile Pipe Band joined the procession alongside the rousing sound of talented young brass players from Whitburn Youth Band. Leith samba band Pulse of the Place kept the rhythm with their vibrant young samba sound.
The #ScotWord campaign was co-designed and led by young people, connecting with their peers between the ages of eight and 26, encouraging them to choose one word they want to say about Scotland to the rest of the world. The resounding response was #BRAW from a shortlist which also included #CULTURE #WELCOME #HAME #ALIVE #DIVERSE and #BONNIE.
2,000 torch bearers spelt out #BRAW in Holyrood Park at the end of the procession, stretching 104m long and 24m high and visible from space. Images of this launch of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay have been shared around the world putting the young people of Scotland centre stage and heralding the start of the Year of Young People 2018, a year in which Scotland will celebrate its young people and enable them to shine – in this case quite literally – on the Edinburgh stage, the Scottish stage and the international stage.