In the United States, today is Thanksgiving, but in Edinburgh, tonight marks the night when the lights go on and everything glitters enough to make the ADD in us slip ever so slightly further into spastic insanity.  I gathered with my hopeful companions on the corner of George Street (the statue is of George, by the way – King George, that is – the Fourth, in case you were wondering…) awaiting the promised parade and sparkliness. It didn’t come.  We waited and hoped and waited and wondered and waited.  The clock above our heads ticked past four and on toward five.  We finally gave up and went in search of our own sparkly lights.  

 And we found them.  Take that, silly parade that never came!

 In St Andrew’s Square, the trees were lit in preparation for the later festivities, including a lovely glowy red and white Christmas tree.

 My need for sparkly lights and Christmas decorations was not sated, but I felt better.

We asked a helpful individual in a yellow vest why there was no shiny parade and he told us that we should skip waiting for the parade and head straight to The Mound where the end of the parade and the actual light show was supposed to take place.  Someone apparently forgot to tell all the crowds still waiting for the parade along the street…

We headed toward The Mound and were delighted to discover the Christmas fair around the Gardens along the way.

 I admit, I kind of sort of wanted to ride the carousel.

Now, let’s have fun with camera settings!  With this photo, I took a fairly quick shot in order to make the carousel clear.

If you look at the two pictures below, you will see what happens with the shutter speed is slowed.  It becomes a pretty blur… the kind of looks like it’s going way too fast…

But I love the effect anyway.

 The skating rink opens today as well!  It sits at the bottom of the Gardens, surrounded by glittering lights that might even satisfy my love of sparkles.

Further down the way, we passed through the street fair where we were tempted by hot chocolate, beautiful crafts and unique gifts, donuts and other treats, and strange, random items that turned up in each little stall.

 I want to go shopping… Luckily, it will be up for another month or so.

 When we finally arrived at The Mound, it was a confused crowd, but the show started and we were happy.  The Ice Queen waved her magical sparkly wand and set off sparks and a few fireworks.

Unfortunately, the incredibly high winds prevented most of the fireworks display, but it was still very pretty.

 I really liked the fake snow that swept past a couple of times.  It turned out to be little rectangular pieces of white paper, but from a distance, it was very snow-like.

 All the trees are lit up now.  I can see them from my kitchen window!

 My friends were heading with the rest of the crowds over to Saint Andrew’s Square for the rest of the festivities, but I had other places to be.  Well, one other place to be.  There was a free concert at St Giles that I wanted to attend.  So I said goodbye and headed back up the road to pass the next hour before the concert.

 From up above Princes Street Gardens, the lights look amazing.

I was not terribly impressed with the lights they put up on the Royal Mile.  The little side thingies are nice, but rather sad and small in comparison to everything else.  I guess it will have to do.  I can always escape to the Christmas fair if I need more glitters.

 I may have been living right up the street from it for the last two and a half months, but I have never actually been inside Saint Giles Cathedral.  I guess I was waiting for a special occasion or really bad weather when an indoor adventure would be welcome.

This was a marvelous introduction to it.

The concert was a free event, a Norwegian carol concert featuring a soloist, an amazing pianist, an organ, and a chamber choir.

Let’s just say it was spectacular.

 The candlelight, the music, the general awesomeness of being in a cathedral listening to a choir singing Norwegian carols…

I was pleased, to say the very least.

Oh and off to my left, there was apparently some lord and his wife (they had matching gold chain-link sash things and people bowed to them).  I have no idea who they were.  I also was unable to snap a photo of them because my view was blocked and they disappeared almost instantly when the concert was over.  Alas. No lordly photo.

 Here’s the organ that played so magnificently.

 The view of the cathedral from the front, including the grand piano where the pianist did his work.

 Detailed relief work is pretty.

 Christmas isn’t just sparkly.  It’s also glowy.  I love candles.

 I was heading out, but since I’ve never been in the cathedral before, I kept wanting to snap pictures of all the cool windows and arches and other beautiful details. 

 Goodbye, pretty arches and stained glass! 

Oh, and I met John Knox on the way out.  He is instantly recognizable because he’s always wearing the same thing and he’s always reading.  Good fellow.

All in all, an amazing start to the Christmas festivities and a good way to pass a Thanksgiving, even if there wasn’t any overeating of turkey, Mom’s famous rolls, cranberry sauce…. pumpkin pie….

Okay, Thanksgiving celebrations are happening this weekend.  I can wait.  Really.  I can wait.