Posted on Thursday 29 November 2012 by Ulster Business

DANIELLI

Simon Danielli, ex rugby international raises a toast to mark the official launch of Scotland’s Winter Festival’s

St. Andrew's Day, Scotland's National Day on November 30th marks the start of Scotland's winter festivals- a three month season of celebrations including Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night.

Scotland's Winter Festivals will give visitors from Northern Ireland the opportunity to enjoy some of the most spectacular cultural festivities and events ever staged in the Year of Creative Scotland 2012.

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: "Winter is a particularly exciting time for visitors to Scotland. Starting with St. Andrew's Day celebrations, Scotland has planned a three month extravaganza which includes some wonderful Christmas treats, our lavish and internationally renowned Hogmanay celebrations as well as a mass of events in tribute and celebration of Scotland's national poet – Robert Burns.

"From sparkling Christmas fun, street theatre and legendary street parties to torchlight processions, fireworks and live music, Scotland is ready to give a very warm welcome to visitors from across Northern Ireland and beyond to enjoy the very best of Scotland's culture."

To celebrate St. Andrew's Day, Glasgow will host events throughout the weekend of November 30 including a film event and concert, outdoor ceilidh and live cookery demonstrations as well as arts and crafts, storytelling and street theatre.

Scotland's Winter Festivals will also see Edinburgh host a variety of markets including a Traditional German Christmas Market; Traditional Highland Village Christmas Market; The Real Scottish Christmas Fair; The Ethical Christmas Fair; and Edinburgh's Farmers Markets throughout December while Princes Street Gardens in the city will be home to The Big Wheel and Ice Rinks for everyone to enjoy.

Scotland is also home to some of the most magical winter experiences for children including the chance to visit the UK's only free roaming reindeer herd at the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre, and having the chance to see Walker and Arktos, the UK's only pair of polar bears at the Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie in the Scottish Highlands.

To help visitors plan and enjoy as much as possible, visitor attractions and cultural organisations across the country will also be taking part in Visit for Free – an initiative allowing people to enjoy free access or discounted tickets on the weekend of 30 November – 2 December. For other Christmas events and information on Scotland's Winter Festivals and to book your trip to Scotland please visit www.visitscotland.com/surprise

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