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BBC Scotland welcomes the new millennium
Pictures around Scotland as the celebrations proper begin
 real 28k

A musical tour of Scotland
Scotland sings Auld Lang Syne
 real 28k

Saturday, 1 January, 2000, 03:23 GMT
In with the new, out with the old

Fairground ride In the party mood on a ride in Edinburgh

Thousands of revellers have welcomed the new millennium at massive Hogmanay celebrations across Scotland.

And within minutes of the century's arrival, the first millennium babies made their presence felt.

A boy was born at Glasgow Maternity Hospital at 1204GMT, followed a minute later by a girl, one of twins, in Dundee.

Crowds Crowds have massed Scotland's streets
More than 200,000 revellers in Edinburgh watched nearly five tonnes of fireworks detonate in four minutes after midnight to mark the new millennium.

At the stroke of midnight, the chimes of Big Ben were played in Edinburgh on a massive sound system in the city centre and a volley of fireworks started a spectacular four-minute display.

The party got into full swing earlier when Scots band Texas took to the stage on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.

Security operation

A massive police and security operation was under way to keep the festival safe, with the focus of the effort making sure nobody got in without a ticket.

A total of 20 people were arrested for mainly minor offences at the street party in Edinburgh, while 48 people were taken into custody in Strathclyde at millennium events.

George Square, Glasgow Glasgow's George Square is lit up by fireworks
A spokeswoman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "People have been pretty good on the night. They have complied with police and stewards and been generally well-behaved.

"It's been mild weather so people have tended to linger a bit longer, but in general everything has gone to plan."

Edinburgh Royal Infirmary was expecting its busiest night as it deals with the aftermath of the massive party.

The capital's rival, Glasgow, made sure it was not upstaged with a stunning fireworks display in George Square and a huge array of entertainment.

Up to 100,000 people are estimated to have been at the celebrations.

Wallace effigy replaced

In Stirling, controversial plans to burn the effigy of William Wallace were replaced with a 50ft sculpture of a wolf, the town's symbol, being set alight as fireworks were fired from the castle.

And in Lanark, the traditional Scottish symbol of sounding the bells took on extra resonance as the oldest cast bell in Europe, housed in a steeple in the town, rang in the new millennium.

Fireworks Fireworks explode in the Edinburgh sky
In Scotland's most northerly city, Aberdeen, crowds gathered for an evening of musical entertainment featuring top Scottish artists including Big Country and Runrig's Donnie Munro.

In the Aberdeenshire port of Stonehaven a record number of women took part in what has become north-east Scotland's best known Hogmanay event - the town's annual fireball swinging ceremony.

At the stroke of midnight 13 women joined 37 men parading down the High Street swinging large fire balls at the end of long wires before hurling them into the harbour.

Evil spirits

Tradition has it that the ceremony wards off evil spirits at the start of a new year.

But another event planned for the north-east had to be abandoned on 30 December.

It had been planned to launch a flaming ball of molten iron into the North Sea from a medieval-style catapult based in the tiny Moray Firth fishing village of Portsoy.

But the 15ft arm fell off during testing, breaking the machine beyond repair.

The ceremony went ahead with molten iron being poured into the sea rather than catapulted.

Millennium wedding

The Prince of Wales earlier ended a two-day visit to Scotland with a Hogmanay service in St Giles Cathedral to mark the passing of the old year.

At the world-famous Gretna Hall Blacksmith's Shop, Melanie Maddison and Grant Bloomfield-Gibbons, married as the clocks struck.

Millennium couple wed Darren and Amanda celebrate their wedding
Darren Cornelius and Amanda Barr tied the knot in a family ceremony at The Old Mill hotel, Motherwell, Lanarkshire, as the bells pealed in the new millennium.

Traffic restrictions are in force in many towns and cities.

In Aberdeen, Union Street is shut between Bridge Street and Bon Accord Street until 0800GMT on New Year's Day.

Traffic zones

Traffic exclusion zones are now in operation in the "Hogmanay Zone" in Edinburgh and the Merchant City area of Glasgow.

Restrictions have also been put in place in Perth, Dumfries and Galloway and Inverness.

Public transport is also affected by the Hogmanay holiday. There are no ScotRail services on 1 January and Seacat sailings are suspended.

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See also:
01 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Scotland's New Year in pictures
01 Jan 00 |  Scotland
Babies have a millennium bawl
31 Dec 99 |  Scotland
'Scotland is the only place to be'
31 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Millennium bug beaten
20 Sep 99 |  Scotland
Hogmanay's hottest tickets up for grabs
26 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Web camera captures Hogmanay fun
22 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Water firm's sewage 'blowback' fear
17 Sep 99 |  Scotland
Nursing cover trebled for Millennium Night

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