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Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in Scotland

Street performer, Edinburgh, Scotland
The Royal Mile is liveliest during the Edinburgh Festival.
  • Before planning a trip around a festival, verify the festival dates on the festival's website or with a local tourist information office. For more information about these and other events, see the sites for Visit Scotland and Visit Britain.
  • This list includes major festivals in Edinburgh, plus national holidays observed throughout Scotland. Many sights and banks close down on national holidays — keep it in mind when planning your itinerary. Note that this isn't a complete list; holidays can strike without warning.
  • See upcoming holidays and festivals in England, Wales, and across Europe


January 1–2:  New Year's Day and New Year's Holiday (continued Hogmanay celebrations; closures)

January 25:  Burns' Night (poetry readings, haggis…whisky)

January 31:  Up Helly Aa, Shetland Islands (Viking-inspired festival with torch processions and a burning galley)

April 1–16:  Edinburgh Science Festival

April 7–April 9:  Easter weekend (Good Friday through Easter Sunday; closures)

April 30:  Beltane Fire Festival, Edinburgh (dancing, bonfire)

May 1:  Early May Bank Holiday

May 29:  Spring Bank Holiday

June 22–25:  Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh (Scottish-flavored county fair)

June 30–July 2:  Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, Portsoy (east of Inverness)

July 21–23:  Rewind Festival, Perth (themed venues and musical performances)

August 7:  Summer Bank Holiday

August 4–26:  Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh (massing of military bands)

August 4–27:  Edinburgh International Festival (music, dance, shows)

August 4–28:  Edinburgh Fringe Festival (offbeat theater and comedy)

August 11–19 (likely):  Edinburgh International Film Festival

August 12–28:  Edinburgh International Book Festival

August 24–26:  Cowal Highland Gathering, west of Glasgow in Dunoon

September 2–10:  Largs Viking Festival (west of Glasgow)

September 2:  Braemar Gathering, north of Pitlochry

October 13–21:  Royal National Mòd, Paisley (near Glasgow; Gaelic cultural festival)

October 13–30 (likely):  Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Edinburgh

November 5:  Bonfire Night (a.k.a. Guy Fawkes Night; fireworks, bonfires, effigy-burning of 1605 traitor Guy Fawkes)

November 12:  Remembrance Sunday (two minutes of silence at 11:00 to remember WWI dead, people wear poppies on lapels)

November 30:  St. Andrew's Day (national day; ceilidh dancing and other cultural events; bank-holiday closures)

December 31–January 2:  Hogmanay (Scottish New Year's, with music, street theater, carnival)