Biggar Bonfire

Come to Biggar to watch one of the most spectacular events in the world on New Years Eve, or watch it live as it happens at this site from 9pm on 31st December 2016. Peter Rae, Biggar bonfire entertainments organiser and DJ for the Dancing, recalls the history of Biggar's Hogmanay celebrations.

The Hogmanay bonfire in the Borders town of Biggar (pop 2000), dates back to the pagan times when fire was worshipped and believed to ward of evil spirits for the New Year. It has continued at Biggar for hundreds of years and, as far as we are aware, there is no other town in the world that celebrates the coming of the New Year like Biggar. Even during the wars the tradition was kept alive by a group who burned a candle in a tin at the bonfire site, so as not to attract enemy bombers.


Dancing and music was introduced several years ago and has proved most successful (no use having a big fire wi' nowt tae dae!). Some have tried to stop it. On two occasions in the early 40s, after complaints from disgruntled locals, a compromise was reached, just to have a small fire. This was duly erected, but an hour before it was supposed to be lit, the local stalwarts brought around cart after cart of coal and wood and piled up making it the best fire in years.

It burned for five days. read more