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Hogmanay in Edinburgh

We are in Edinburgh, drawn here by Michele’s research on the Hogmanay celebrations that go back into the mists of time. In the heart of the city, under the brooding hills topped with ancient castles and grand fortified houses, tens of thousands of people gather.

As the clock ticks down and people jostle for a view, an unmistakable sound penetrates to your core: the first note of the bagpipes. Then a veritable army of other pipes join in driven by the staccato of dozens of drums. It catches your breath and, whether you have an ounce of Scot in you or not, you stand taller and prouder.

Then the carefully orchestrated parade begins as tens of thousands of us carry lit wax torches that drip onto our arms, coats, pants and shoes – a waxy souvenir and a niggling reminder of how difficult it is to dry clean clothes when travelling. But all momentary concerns quickly vanish in the excitement of being part of a human river of blazing torches that wind through cobbled streets reeking with centuries of passion, fighting, death and strife. Tonight instead, it is the exhilaration of the LIGHT and the unspoken bond as we march laughing and smiling shoulder to shoulder through these historic streets as we create a new revolution of connection.