Aberdeen’s Countdown to Christmas Begins

The countdown to Christmas has started as festive celebrations return to Aberdeen, with the city centre set to light up when ‘Christmas in Aberdeen’ launches next week. 

Aberdeen City Council, in partnership with John Codona’s Pleasure Fairs and Aberdeen Inspired, will officially kick off the festive season on Thursday 18 November with the opening of Aberdeen Christmas Village which will again be situated in and around Aberdeen’s civic space on Broad Street. 

‘Curated in the Quad’, the popular open-air Christmas Market will return to Marischal College Quadrangle over the weekends (Fridays-Sundays) in the lead up to Christmas. Curated by Charlie House, the event will showcase a unique line up each week of locally produced crafts, arts and gifts, along with gourmet food and drink. 

In addition to the Christmas Village, visitors will be pleased to see traditional favourites in the festive events line-up which include: 

  • Christmas Tree Switch On - Thursday 18 November 2021  

  • 12 Days of Christmas Sculpture Trail - Wednesday 1 December – Friday 24 December 2021  

  • Nativity Scene – Monday 29 November 2021 – 5 January 2022 (Blessing Event: 29 November)  

  • Carol Concerts - Saturday 18 December 2021 

  • Hogmanay - Friday 31 December 2021 

The Switch-On Ceremony for Aberdeen's Christmas Tree, which is gifted from the city's twin city of Stavanger in Norway, marks the start of all things festive. The Switch-On Ceremony will be carried out by Aberdeen Lord Provost Barney Crockett and the Deputy Mayor of Stavanger, Dagny Sunnanaa Hausken. The Sweet Adelines and the Aberdeen Grammar School Vocal Trio will entertain the crowds with a selection of Christmas carols. 

One of the family favourites will be the 12 Days of Christmas Wooden Sculptures Trail. Once again, the twelve unique and striking totem poles will don a letter, encouraging Christmas buffs of all ages to solve the Christmas puzzle.  This year, they can then exchange their completed trail sheets for a reward from ‘The Sweet Haus’ stall in Aberdeen Christmas Village. The sculptures will be located across the city centre from Wednesday 1 to Friday 24 December and you can download an activity sheet from the website or collect one from ‘The Sweet Haus’ in the Christmas Village. 

The festive season will draw to a close with the Hogmanay celebrations featuring live music from ‘Kopycat Killers’, performing all your favourite Killers’ songs. The open-air stage will host the ultimate Aberdeen street party on Schoolhill on Friday 31 December, with a live set from local Northsound One DJ Lauren Mitchell followed by live music from Silver City Soul Revue from 8.30pm onwards. 

Aberdeen City Council culture spokesperson, Councillor Marie Boulton said: “Christmas in Aberdeen is back and promises to bring some much-needed festive cheer to the city, at what is always a truly magical time of year. Christmas in Aberdeen creates over a month of activity that has something for everyone, but most importantly encourages people into the city centre. 

“Collaborative working is vital to the success of events like our festive line-up, and through our Aberdeen 365 Events Programme, partnerships such as the ones we have with Aberdeen Inspired and Codona’s demonstrate the commitment of our local and national partners in supporting our vision of development and sustainability of the city. 

“Our vision for the city is to create a programme that provides an opportunity to promote and enhance the long-term economic prosperity of Aberdeen and the wider region by attracting visitors, both local and from further afield.”  

“Our officers and partners are continuing work to ensure our Christmas events can take place in a safe environment whilst still following the current Covid-19 government regulations, and we look forward to Christmas countdown beginning with the Christmas Village launch and Christmas Tree Switch-on event on Thursday 18 November.” 

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, said: “The much-anticipated Christmas Village will bring some much-needed festive cheer to Aberdeen and encourage visitors to come into the city centre to enjoy a fun day out alongside shopping, having dinner or drinks and soaking up the lights, music and atmosphere.  

“Aberdeen Inspired is working with Charlie House to deliver the Curated in the Quad market at Marischal College. Every weekend in the run up to Christmas will see a wide range of stallholders selling artisanal produce and unique gifts and we encourage shoppers to support the city centre by shopping local this year.  

 “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Aberdeen City Council and Codona's to deliver an exciting Christmas Village that will add to Aberdeen’s wider festive offering.”   

In order to facilitate the delivery of the Aberdeen Christmas Village, a temporary traffic order will be in place. From 18:00 on 5 November 2021, until 22:00 on 14 January 2022, there will be a temporary prohibition of driving on Broad Street, Aberdeen, between its junctions with Gallowgate and Queen Street.  

From 18:00 on 12 November 2021, until 22:00 on 14 January 2022, Upperkirkgate, Aberdeen, is to close between its junctions with Gallowgate and Flourmill Lane and also Gallowgate Aberdeen, between its junctions with Little John Street and Upperkirkgate. 

A proposal to allow for the full reopening of Schoolhill between Flourmill Lane and Harriet Street, and between Harriet Street and Blackfriars Street, will be considered at the City Growth and Resources Committee on November 12. 

Disabled parking provision in the area will be located on Queen Street and Littlejohn Street. 

Full details of the Christmas in Aberdeen events including the road and traffic restrictions can be found at www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/christmas