Scotland Events and Festivals

All throughout the year in Scotland you will find events and festivals, some more famous than others. The best known are probably Burns Night, the Edinburgh festival and the Braemar Gathering. Some celebrate Scotland's history and literature, or sports and culture, and some are just pure fun..

Whatever the occasion I know you will enjoy them. If you happen to be either in Scotland, or on your way there, check through the months and see what's on. Wherever possible I have provided a website for you to find more information about each one. However, as with any celebrations, the weather and other factors can render the dates subject to change, so always make sure in advance of the dates and locations..


1st January in Orkney : The Ba' - a game of riotous fun for residents and tourists alike.

25th January is Burns Night and haggis (cheiftain o' the puddin' race) is consumed with tatties and turnips all over the world.

Mid to late January: The Celtic Connection is a festival of Celtic Culture and Music and is held in Glasgow.

last Tuesday in January : Up Helly Aa - Lerwick, Shetland. The Viking Fire Festival!


February to late March : Murrayfield, Edinburgh. Rugby Fans can celebrate the Six Nations Rugby Tournament between the six nations of Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy.


Shetland Islands : Local and international folk music acts are here for the Shetland Folk Festival and folk-music lovers will be in their element. Held in late March.


Rugby: Rugby fans take note....Rugby Sevens Rugby tournament beginning in Galasheils and Melrose! These seven-a-side tournaments also take place in various towns in the border regions of Scotland.

Beltane Fire Festival is held on Carlton Hill in Edinburgh - have some weird and wonderful fun on Carlton Hill to celebrate the end of winter 30th April!


Burns An A' This festival held in Ayr to celebrate Scotland's Bard is growing in popularity.

Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is held in late April to the beginning of May and covers four days of distillery tours, sampling some aqua vitae and generally having fun on Speyside and Moray.

Orkney Folk Festival

Through late May folk music fans will thoroughly appreciate the jam sessions, workshops and evenings of folk music entertainment.

Scottish FA Cup Final

For football fans this is the best time to be at Glasgow's Hampden Park ..the football association final!


In early June in Edinburgh we have the Caledonian Brewery Beer Festival - For fans of real ale this is the place to be! The Campaign for Real Ale has a real presence here.

Glasgow Jazz Festival is held mid-June in Glasgow.

Riding of the Marches is held in June in the border towns of Scotland and is all about parades, brass bands, and horses. Selkirk's parade is one of the biggest and best and is held to remember, past conflict with England.

Royal Highland Show is Scotland's national agricultural show and is held in late June in Edinburgh.

The St. Magnus Festival is held in Orkney in mid-June and is a celebration of the arts - visual arts, music, and literature and is a wonderful time to be there...

The West End Festival is Glasgow's biggest festival of music and the arts runs for two weeks in June.


T in the Park means more enjoyment for music lovers at the music festival at Balado,near Kinross.


The Edinburgh Book Festival is a celebration of literature held in Charlotte Square, Edinburgh in mid-to late August where local authors and various other literature experts talk about their work.

Edinburgh International and Fringe Festivals

This is one of the best known of all festivals in Europe and attracts millions of visitors to the capital of Scotland every year. The Edinburgh International festival is a veritable feast of the cultural arts.

It runs from mid-August through to early September.Book early and remember that accommodation in Edinburgh will be scarce to non-existent during this time..

Edinburgh International Film Festival

From mid to late August this international selection of films will be a delight to movie-buffs everywhere.

Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Lovers of bagpipes and pageantry will be in heaven. A thoroughly memorable and stirring spectacle held at Edinburgh Castle.

World Pipe Band Championships are held in Glasgow and you can witness the gathering and listen to the music of over 100 pipe bands.


In early September the famous Braemar Gathering in Braemar, Deeside takes place. Scottish pastimes and displays of strength and daring include tossing the caber, hammer throwing, hill-races, highland dancing and of course bagpipe music. The Queen also attends.


The Royal National Mod is a festival (and competition) of Gaelic music held in various locations around Scotland.

Check the website at for further details.


31st December - Hogmanay! Scotland brings in the New Year in a big way with street parties and lots of other fun and celebrations. The street party in Edinburgh is the largest on 31st December. Hogmanay means big celebrations all over the country. You've never seen the New Year in at all if not in Scotland!

For an unusual celebration, the Stonehaven Fireball Festival is held on 31st December in Stonehaven which is close to Aberdeen. Local people swing large orbs of fire and finally pitch them into the sea on 31st December among all the other Hogmanay fun.

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