From 15th November 2020 to 3rd January 2021
World-renowned Edinburgh’s Christmas celebrations spread the festive cheer across the Scottish capital between 15 November 2020 and 3rd January 2021. From mulled Irn Bru to vegan pigs in blankets, from Harry Potter-themed gifts to local handmade produce, the stunning Christmas Market in East Princes Street Gardens offers treats for all! Santa Land returns to East Princes Street Gardens with rides for people of all ages to enjoy whilst Santa’s Grotto once again takes residence on Castle Street. Reimagined Light Night will be opening Edinburgh’s Christmas with an event spectacular on the Royal Mile on Sunday, 15 November, and brand new Community Christmas will be spreading festive cheer across 12 locations in the capital with special projections and performances bringing local talent together.
One-on-one video experience, Night Walk, offers a unique, multisensory tour of Edinburgh past and present, whilst Winter Windows is back to showcase the talents of young, budding Edinburgh artists, this year themed around ‘A Festive Welcome’. Johnnie Walker continues its partnership with Edinburgh’s winter festivals with the Johnnie Walker Bothy Bar on the Mound, and around the city, festive visitors can peek behind the scenes of the capital’s key organisations and institutions in 24 Doors of Advent.
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Explore and enjoy Princes Street Gardens
Once again East Princes Street Gardens hosts one of the UK’s most stunning Christmas Markets, offering a range of craft and food and drink stalls as well as rides and attractions, all against the backdrop of the iconic Edinburgh Castle.
The Market’s rides include, among others, the famous 60m high Star Flyer with spectacular 360° views of the city centre, equally not-for-the-faint-hearted Forth 1 Big Wheel, the most Instagrammable Christmas spot in Edinburgh the Christmas Tree Maze, fairground staple – Helter Skelter and, for the keen little travellers, Santa Train!
Hosted by Forth 1’s Arlene Stuart, Light Night will take place between 3.30pm and 5pm on Sunday 17 November. There will be spectacular performances on the Royal Mile from local choirs and youth groups as well as a special appearance from Ama-zing Harmonies, a choir created through the work of Transit into Confidence, a charity supported by OneCity Trust, Edinburgh’s Christmas official charity partner. Audiences up and down the Mile will be able to enjoy the event thanks to three giant screens located in key spots on the street. At 5pm a spectacular pyrotechnics display will mark the official switch on of Edinburgh’s Christmas lights with Santa’s “flying” visit.
Brand new this season is Community Christmas, a wonderful, free, fun celebration which brings local Edinburgh communities together to spread festive cheer across the whole city! Presented in collaboration with Double Take Projections, Underbelly’s partners on Message from the Skies in 2018 and 2019, Community Christmas sees 12 locally significant buildings, across all four of Edinburgh’s localities, come alive with festive projections over 12 consecutive nights, a new building every night. Each event also features a different local choir performing some of the best-loved festive tunes alongside the projection.