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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 1 January, 2003, 15:36 GMT
Scotland welcomes in 2003
Fireworks at castle
The castle was the setting for the fireworks display
Hundreds of thousands of people have seen in the New Year at Scotland's famous Hogmanay celebrations.

Edinburgh staged the largest event, with 100,000 tickets snapped up for the party and spectacular castle fireworks display.

Police praised revellers and said just four arrests were made as people packed Princes Street and the Royal Mile for the city's 10th official Hogmanay party.

Deputy Chief Constable Tom Wood, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: "Once again it has been a very successful street party with a great atmosphere.

Hogmanay revellers
Police praised Edinburgh's good-natured revellers
"This is a tribute to what was a good-natured crowd who showed good common sense and co-operation with police at all times."

The four arrests were all for drink-related matters, a force spokesman added.

However, police in Glasgow said they were "disappointed" with the amount of violence in the city centre during celebrations.

A 17-year-old male was said to be in a critical condition in hospital after being stabbed in a brawl in Albion Street at about 0100 GMT.

A Strathclyde Police spokesman said two 16-year-old males were also stabbed in the incident and were seriously ill. The three were taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Despite freezing temperatures and speculation about a possible terrorist attack, partygoers in Edinburgh were undeterred as former chart-toppers Culture Club and Mercury Music Prize winner Ms Dynamite headlined.

Ancient ceremonies

About 1,000 police officers and security staff were drafted in to control the crowds, many of whom had begun to gather in Princes Street from as early as 1800 GMT.

About 70,000 people descended on Glasgow city centre for its event.

Chart-toppers Toploader were the main act, with McAlmont and Butler and Liverpool independent band Space also on the bill.

People turned out in large numbers in Scotland's other cities and towns to welcome in 2003, with ancient ceremonies taking place in the north east and the Borders.

Crime scene
Three teenagers were stabbed in Glasgow
An estimated 12,000 people attended the traditional fire ceremony in Stonehaven, in which giant balls of fire are swung through the town's High Street.

A Grampian Police spokesman said a 13-year-old girl sustained a slight burn to her face during the ceremony, but there were no other incidents.

In the Borders, the Hogmanay bonfire lit up the sky in Biggar.

The tradition dates back to Pagan times when fire was worshipped and was believed to ward off evil spirits for the New Year.

With the massive clean-up operation under way, traditional New Year's Day events took place.

Brave swimmers took to the freezing River Forth for the annual Loony Dook, while teams competed in a husky race round Holyrood Park in Edinburgh.

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See also:

01 Jan 03 | Scotland
13 Nov 02 | Scotland
15 Dec 99 | Scotland
11 Nov 99 | Scotland
31 Dec 98 | Entertainment
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