Events and culture
Aberdeen is a vibrant and multicultural city, home to a population of over 220,000, including 20,000 students.
It is rich in culture, with a range of museums, art galleries, cinemas and concert venues.
Hundreds of local events are organised throughout the year by the Council, event partners and the community.
Here is a selection of our favourites:
- Jan: Burns’ Supper. A celebratory meal for Scotland's finest poet, Rabbie Burns. It includes an address to a haggis, the ‘Immortal Memory’ and a toast to the lassies, usually with a wee dram.
- Feb: Spectra - Aberdeen's Festival of Light. This event brings together leading international artists with established Scottish collaborators with light shows in Union Terrace and across the city.
- Mar: Aberdeen Jazz Festival. Previous Highlights have included the fantastic Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - fusing jazz, hip-hop and funk, known for their appearances on 'Later' with Jools Holland and work with Gorillaz.
- Apr: The Torcher Parade. Recently celebrating its 90th year, this event sees students dress up, decorate floats, dance and sing to the 50,000 spectators who line the streets. They collect thousands of pounds for local charities.
- May: Fantastic gigs. Bombay Bicycle Club, The 1975 and other great bands have played at the Music Hall. View more exciting gigs and events from Aberdeen Performing Arts.
- June: Taste Of Grampian. Celebrating and highlighting the culinary delights of the North East of Scotland with day events, TV Celebrities and activities.
- Jul: International Youth Festival. Featuring diverse performances of music, theatre and dance from around the globe.
- Aug: Highland Games. A real piece of traditional Scotland, with events across the country from May to September each year. Featuring competitions in heavy weightlifting, including the caber toss and hammer throw, piping, hill racing and highland dancing.
- Sept: Freshers’ Week - This is your chance to celebrate the start of the new academic year. It's a great opportunity to meet new people and make new friends through a range of fun activities.
- Oct: Braemar Creative Arts Festival. Annual festival in Royal Deeside offering workshops, competitions and demonstrations including painting, music, cooking, ceramics, drama, creative writing and weaving to name but a few.
- Nov: Winter Festival. Kicking off with the Fireworks Spectacular at the Beach on 5 November, you're sure to get into the festive spirit with the new Aberdeen Christmas Village, which will include an open-air ice rink. festive fairground rides, food, drink and gift stalls throughout the season in the centre of the city.
- Dec: Stonehaven Fireballs - An ancient custom held on Hogmanay in the local town of Stonehaven, where a procession of 45 participants swing blazing balls of fire above their heads before throwing them into the harbour.