Scotland’s Winter Festivals programme announced

26
686

Scots and Scots at heart, both at home and abroad, are gearing up to celebrate all that is great about the nation during this year’s Scotland’s Winter Festivals.

The season of celebrations to mark Scotland’s distinct culture, unique heritage and creativity runs from St Andrew’s Day on November 30 through Hogmanay to Burns Season at the end of January and will bring together lovers of all things Scottish from across the globe.

Scots and Scots at heart, both at home and abroad, are gearing up to celebrate all that is great about the nation during this year’s Scotland’s Winter Festivals.

The season of celebrations to mark Scotland’s distinct culture, unique heritage and creativity runs from St Andrew’s Day on November 30 through Hogmanay to Burns Season at the end of January and will bring together lovers of all things Scottish from across the globe.

Highlights for St Andrew’s Day 2011 include:

  • The successful Visit for Free weekend being expanded to include free or discounted entry to even more of Scotland’s best-loved visitor attractions. Popular Historic Scotland attractions, such as Edinburgh, Stirling and Urquhart Castles, will again take part with Camera Obscura, Discovery Point, Glasgow Science Centre and the Scotch Whisky Experience among those joining in this year
  • A global focus for this year’s celebrations with worldwide participation in cities such as Beijing, Washington and Brussels
  • The launch of an international photo competition via the Blipfoto website to find the best image of our global celebrations
  • A Scottish Universities’ St Andrew’s Day debate focussing on democracy and young people in 2011

Signalling the countdown to the celebrations, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture & External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:

“We know that Scotland’s festivals make a significant contribution to our economy. They showcase Scotland internationally and entice people from home and abroad to explore our incredible country.

“By bringing together three of our most important cultural celebrations, Scotland’s Winter Festivals demonstrate that Scotland is a great visitor destination and the perfect stage for events all year round.

“The groundswell of support from organisations across Scotland, recognising the benefits of the Festivals and grasping the opportunity to get involved, is fantastic. This year, in addition to the hugely successful Visit for Free initiative, more attractions and businesses will offer special deals over St Andrew’s Day celebrations. That is great news for families and visitors alike, allowing more people to join the celebrations throughout the country.

“Across the globe, Scotland’s friends continue to embrace our cultural celebrations and will be joining in the fun with St Andrew’s Day events as far afield as China, Brazil and Australia, and closer to home in Germany, Belgium and England.

“Our St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns night celebrations offer visitors a real taste of our nation’s distinct traditions and contemporary culture, and at the same time promoting Scotland as a great place to visit, study, work, invest and do business year round.

“With 2012 designated the Year of Creative Scotland – our Winter Festivals are the perfect way to add some sparkle to our dark nights and get people involved in celebrating Scotland’s culture and creativity.”

 

Paul Bush, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland, added:

“Scotland is the perfect stage for events and is internationally renowned as the Home of Hogmanay. With St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns Night, Scotland’s Winter Festivals incorporates three of Scotland’s key celebrations. We are currently working with event organisers to deliver an exciting programme of activity across this festive period.”

Scotland’s Winter Festivals are funded and delivered by the Scottish Government in partnership with EventScotland, VisitScotland, Historic Scotland, Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions, Scottish local authorities, Scottish Parliament, Education Scotland and partners in the commercial sector.

Scotland’s Winter Festivals begin with St Andrew’s Day on November 30 and includes Scotland’s Hogmanay celebrations on December 31, culminating with Burns night on January 25. Events and celebrations will begin on the weekend leading to St Andrew’s Day (November 26 and 27).

Historic Scotland and the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions are again running Visit for Free. Visitor attractions across the country will also be taking part – meaning that more people will be able to enjoy free access or discounted tickets on November 26, 27 and 30 2011.

The Scottish Government is sponsoring the Scottish Universities’ St Andrew’s Day Championship Debate, in conjunction with the Scottish Parliament and the English-Speaking Union Scotland. St Andrew’s Day will see the launch of a social media initiative in partnership with Blipfoto, the Edinburgh based daily photo-blogging site.