The packed calendar of events in Aberdeen means that expats will have numerous opportunities to enjoy themselves and get involved in the local culture. The city council is active in supporting many of the events that take place in the city, and several of them have international renown, attracting audiences from across the world.

Here are some not-to-be-missed annual festivals and celebrations in Aberdeen.

Annual events in Aberdeen

Spectra (February)

What better way to get to know a new city than to see it all lit up? This dazzling light show, complete with dramatic artwork projections on famous city buildings, attracts just short of a million visitors annually and is held at various sites throughout Aberdeen. Every year has a distinct theme.

Braemar Gathering (September)

Part of the traditional summer highland games, the Braemar Gathering takes place on the first weekend of September and has a 900-year history. The event is traditionally attended by the royal family and attracts large crowds every year, who come to watch bagpipe bands, tug-of-war events and catch a glimpse of the queen.

Aberdeen Winter Festival (November/December)

This fun-filled festival is made up of various events held in Aberdeen throughout the festive season. From Christmas markets to carol concerts and outdoor ice-skating, there are plenty of opportunities for the whole family to get into the festive spirit.

New Year's Eve (December)

The new year in Aberdeen explodes into existence with a massive street party, complete with a dazzling fireworks display at midnight. The city’s local celebration of Hogmanay, the traditional Scottish new year festivities, is characterised by live bands, merriment and the clinking of glasses.