Hogmanay 2017

Christmas at the Castle
29th November 2017
Origins of Dunnottar Castle
17th March 2018

If you are lucky enough to be celebrating Hogmanay (New Year) in the area, we recommend you take the chance to see Stonehaven’s unique Fireballs display.

At the stroke of midnight, the Auld Toon is lit up as around fifty to sixty local fireball-swingers make their way, swinging their fireballs above their heads, up and down the High Street.

It is one of Scotland’s most unusual Hogmanay celebrations and is very atmospheric.

The exact origins of the Fireballs are unknown.  The first documented ceremony was in 1908, however it is thought to go back at least 150 years, and even to pre-Christian times, being related to the pagan Mid-Winter Bonfires which were still celebrated until recent times.

There has been a ceremony every year since 1908, apart from 1917/18 and 1940-45 due to lighting restrictions during the First and Second World Wars.

The fireballs are said to symbolise the return of the Sun and the fire purifies the area, warding off evil spirits and bringing good luck and prosperity for the year ahead.

Whatever the origins, we hope you enjoy the spectacle – but be sure to get there early to get a good spot!

Jo-Anna Bean


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