Celebrating Christmas in Scotland

Dec 26, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Christmas is largely celebrated in Canada. When November hits, we settle into the familiar pattern of holiday music, decorations, and classic Christmas movies that seem to play on every channel. If you’re worried about a shortage of festivity in the UK, fear not. Christmas is equally as popular in the UK, if not more popular.

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Don’t believe me?


I know I’m not the only one who rolls my eyes when Christmas decorations start appearing on shelves mid-September. They seem to arrive earlier and earlier every year. I enjoy the holiday season, but I don’t want to see Santa decorations next to plastic tombstones and skeletons – unless it’s a Nightmare Before Christmas display. Scotland is no exception; when I arrived in August, most restaurants already had their holiday menus on display.


“Yes, please, I would like the turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. Let me just change out of my shorts and t-shirt into something more festive.”


As I said, Christmas is extremely popular in the UK.

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Christmas in Scotland


Over the past couple months, Aberdeen has slowly been adorned with festive lights and decorations. Wherever you travel in Aberdeen, you’ll find some semblance of the holiday season. Cafés and restaurants decorate their windows and doors with fairy lights, garlands, and wreaths. Large baubles, stars, and reindeer dress the ceilings and floors of every mall. And Aberdeen’s main square currently houses a tall Christmas tree. It lights the square and shines down Union Street, the main street in Aberdeen’s city centre.

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The Christmas market is my favourite holiday activity in Aberdeen. The market is located right down the street from my job, which makes it easy to walk over and enjoy some mulled wine on my lunch breaks. Although small, the market buzzes with activity. It offers rides, booths, and other forms of festive entertainment. The rides include a large slide, carousel, and teacups (mostly for children, but adults can definitely participate). The booths promise beer, cider, snacks (mini pancakes with Nutella – yum!), and of course, mulled wine.

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I enjoyed skating the most. For the *cheap* price of £6, you can rent a pair of skates and glide around the ice rink for half an hour. My friend Martyna and I hadn’t been skating in a long time, so we had a good laugh as we fumbled around in circles on the rink. Despite our lack of grace, the experience boosted our Christmas spirit – what’s not to like about skating to the beat of your favourite holiday tunes?

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Christmas in Aberdeen unites the city in celebration. The streets feel familiar and comforting, especially to those of us who are foreign to the UK. Aberdeen isn’t the only Scottish city with a passion for Christmas – far from it. Glasgow and Edinburgh both have ornate Christmas markets that people travel all across the UK to visit.

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Whether or not you choose to stay in the UK over the winter break, you’ll feel right at home in December with the abundance of festivity that decks every street. If you’re curious about spending the holidays in the UK, feel free to get in touch with one of our ATP advisors.
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