The other day, Nana and I were just enjoying a simple walk through an ice-bound Holyrood Park . . .
. . . when, coming to the end of our trail, we spotted what looked like a giant green pod of some sort. (And I had a sheep in my pocket, for some reason.)
A crowd began to gather. Then, after a little while, there appeared a gaggle of oddly dressed artistes (in ankle warmers!) who performed some strange ritual before opening the egg.
At first, the blue giant was calm--drowsy, even. That is, until some guy who looked like a bearded Screech from Saved by the Bell donned a red wizard's robe and sang what I can only assume was a Gaelic love song to the beast.
When the song ended, the blue giant broke free!
Although some of the bystanders seemed oddly sanguine about his rampage up the Royal Mile.
Seriously, though, the Big Man was just a small piece of the three-day New Year's celebration known in Scotland as Hogmanay. Hogmanay has become a kind of blanket term for a variety of traditional winter solstice celebrations, and different towns throughout Scotland celebrate Hogmanay in a variety of ways.
Edinburgh celebrates the holiday with a festival (something had to fill in the three-week gap between Christmas and Burns Night!) that includes a street party, a giant rendition of Auld Lang Syne (a poem written by none other than Rabbie Burns himself), an enormous blue puppet walking up the Royal Mile for some reason, ceilidh dances, copious amounts of food and drink, and of course lots and lots of fire. All in all, a fitting way for a city like Edinburgh to ring in the New Year!