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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, contact the Visit Britain office.
  • 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 28:  Up Helly Aa, Shetland Islands (Viking-inspired festival with torch processions and a burning galley)

April 4–19: Edinburgh Science Festival

April 10–April 13:  Easter weekend (Good Friday through Easter Sunday; closures)

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

May 4:  Early May Bank Holiday

Mid-to-late May (3 days):  Festival of Museums, across Scotland

May 25:  Spring Bank Holiday

June 18–21:  Royal Highland Show, Edinburgh (Scottish-flavored county fair)

June 20–21:  Scottish Traditional Boat Festival, Portsoy (east of Inverness)

Late June:  Edinburgh International Film Festival

July 17–19:  Rewind Festival, Perth (themed venues and musical performances)

August 3:  Summer Bank Holiday

August 7–29:  Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh (massing of military bands)

August 7–31:  Edinburgh International Festival (music, dance, shows)

August 7–31:  Edinburgh Fringe Festival (offbeat theater and comedy)

August 15–31:  Edinburgh International Book Festival

August 27–29:  Cowal Highland Gathering, west of Glasgow in Dunoon

August 29–September 6:  Largs Viking Festival (west of Glasgow)

September 5:  Braemar Gathering, north of Pitlochry

Mid-October (9 days):  Royal National Mòd, Western Isles (Gaelic cultural festival)

Late October (2 weeks):  Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Edinburgh

November 5:  Guy Fawkes Night (fireworks, bonfires, effigy-burning of 1605 traitor Guy Fawkes)

November 11:  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)