Are Christmas markets cancelled in Scotland in 2020? Latest update on Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness events
December is drawing closer and people are looking for ways to end the year with some festive cheer, but coronavirus may mean making your own mulled wine and Christmas crafts at home
Despite local lockdowns and the potential for a ‘digital Christmas’ this year, some efforts are being made to bring Christmas markets to several cities across the country.
Although we may not be able to come together to celebrate, you can still indulge in festive delights at a limited number of Christmas markets in Scotland.
Here is what you need to know about the major annual events, and what to expect.
Sadly, due to difficulties in implementing social distancing measures, and a ban on group activities across the central belt, the annual Edinburgh Christmas market, with up to 100 stalls sprawled along Princes Street gardens, will not go ahead.
The Underbelly issued a statement on the market’s website to inform residents and businesses that this year’s markets will take place online.
The statement told how the company had come to the agreement with Edinburgh City Council and Public Health Scotland to determine that the risk of coronavirus spreading was too great.
Though the company has not gone into detail as to how the online markets will work, this information is expected soon.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay party has also been cancelled.
Glasgow - St Enoch and George Square
In a similar situation to Edinburgh, the popular Christmas markets in Glasgow city centre have also had the plug pulled.
Organisers of the events, Marketplace Europe Ltd, released a statement which read: "It is with much sadness that we confirm that together with Glasgow City Council, we have mutually agreed that in light of the current lockdown restrictions and continuing covid19 restrictions the Glasgow Christmas Markets 2020 will not take place.
“The decision has been taken after much discussion and careful consideration of the on-going restrictions required to stem the spread of the Coronavirus.
"Public safety has to be at the forefront of our decisions at this very difficult time.
"Finally we wish you good health and a happy and peaceful festive season."
The event usually attracts businesses from across 34 nationalities, bringing an abundance of European food and entertainment, including popular German beers and hotdogs, Christmas decorations and the famous helter skelter.
Due to coronavirus, the 2020 event has been cancelled, but a spokesperson from Glasgow City Council stated: “We look forward to working with Marketplace (Europe) Ltd in delivering the Christmas markets’ again in 2021.”
For any Christmas fanatics outside of the central belt, Aberdeen’s Christmas markets are set to go ahead!
Event planners, Aberdeen Inspired, confirmed on their Facebook and website that the indoor events will commence on November 26, but will be subject to social distancing.
The markets will be held in Bon Accord shopping centre and there will be different stalls each week, which you can check out here.
The event organisers said: “Christmas will look a bit different this year in the wake of COVID-19, and in Aberdeen we are adapting the city centre offering over the festive period to make sure these spaces are safe and welcoming for all to enjoy.”
The annual Christmas markets at the Quad will not go ahead.
The Eden Christmas Crafts Fair will be held in Eden Court, Bishops Rd, Inverness IV3 5SA.
The annual arts event will host tens of stalls both inside and in a tent in the gardens of the venue.
According to Exclusively Highland, you can expect an indulgent spread of Scottish produce, ranging from baked goods to cheeses, tweed clothing, Christmas baubles and one of a kind art collections by Scottish artists.
The event will take place across the weekend from Friday 20 November to Sunday 22 November and there is no entry fee.
Can people from the Central Belt travel to markets around Scotland?
Unfortunately, due to coronavirus restrictions, those living in the central belt of Scotland (and Dundee) will not be able to travel to Aberdeen or Inverness to indulge in the festive fun.