Fare Well: Scotland's virtual Hogmanay celebration is a gathering for our times – Scotsman comment

In addition to being a most Scottish celebration of life, Hogmanay is a most social event.

Fare Well sees 150 individual drones take to the skies to deliver the UK's largest swarm drone show
Fare Well sees 150 individual drones take to the skies to deliver the UK's largest swarm drone show

Indeed, for some, it is hard to imagine marking the passing of the old year and the arrival of the new without the company of relatives, friends and complete strangers.

But 2020’s troubles are continuing into 2021 and, for the moment, we must continue to deal with them as best we can. Lives depend upon it.

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Nearly 1,000 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Scotland on Monday, taking the total to more than 120,000. Up until December 25, there had been 4,416 deaths of people who had tested positive for the virus. It is a sad fact that even the limited amount of social mixing allowed on Christmas Day may have contributed to a rise in those figures.

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Edinburgh’s Hogmanay kicks off its virtual celebrations with a stunning tribute ...

So, as Scotland prepares to mark Hogmanay we should embrace the alternatives to the usual revelries. And, thankfully, considerable efforts have been made to ensure the online show is as impressive as the physical ones usually held in Edinburgh.

‘Fare Well’, which is being gradually released over three days and can be viewed for free at www.edinburghshogmanay.com, features a spectacular display of swarming drones set to music by Skye-based Celtic fusion band Niteworks and a new poem by Scots Makar Jackie Kay, read by David Tennant, Siobhan Redmond and Lorne MacFadyen.

It will not be the same – it could never be – but it is a most Scottish way to mark Hogmanay and gather together, if only virtually, in the hope that all this will soon be behind us.

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