The Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, has announced funding for Scotland’s Winter Festival Programme – kicking off on St Andrew’s Day, running through Christmas and Hogmanay and culminating in Burns Night – celebrating the country’s distinct culture, heritage and creativity. Nineteen events will take place across Scotland including, for the first time, the Western Isles.
From St Andrew’s Day on November 30th through to Burns Night on January 25th, events will run from the Highlands to Dumfries and Galloway, from Stornoway to Stonehaven ranging from storytelling, singing and street acts to flings, fireworks and food.
They will form an integral part of the wider celebrations taking place the length and breadth of the country throughout the winter months.
St Andrew’s Day celebrations kick off with a month-long food and drink festival in the town of St Andrews, as well as major celebrations that will take place for the first time in Edinburgh’s Grassmarket, family friendly events in George Square in Glasgow and a packed programme of activity as part of The Saltire event in East Lothian.
In Stornoway a Ceilidh Festival will take place from December 31st to January 3rd, with Hogmanay celebrations featuring local musicians and a ceilidh band and events will have a focus on the promotion of Gaelic and traditional arts.
And across Scotland, existing and new choirs will also join to put Scotland on the map as a ‘singing nation’ as part of Scotland Sings, which takes place across various locations around the country.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said:
“St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night are important calendar dates for Scots and these events, together with wider activity, will give everyone the opportunity to celebrate Scotland’s rich heritage and distinctive culture.
“This vibrant winter events programme will bring people together to celebrate Scotland’s modern culture and traditions through the best of our nation’s music, arts, food and drink, innovation and entertainment,” she continued.
“As a year round destination for visitors, Scotland welcomes over 15.3 million people every year. St Andrew’s Day, Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night are perfect for celebrating all things Scottish either with us here in Scotland or around the world.”