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Though (alas) there’s no chocolate involved, the General Register House on Princes Street is being transformed into a giant advent calendar for every evening in December. Each night will highlight a different event in Edinburgh’s diverse and vibrant history, as these historical scenes are brought to life and projected onto the building’s façade.
In a city where every nook and cranny has a story to tell, the decision to focus on the pivotal events in Edinburgh’s past is both an obvious choice and a palpable delight. Commissioned by events titan Underbelly – who are also running Edinburgh’s famous Hogmanay programme for the first time this year – they hired the experts over at Double Take Projections to help usher out Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology (2018 will be the Year of Young People) with aplomb.
This public art exhibition has been a spectacular source of enjoyment for passers-by. Located right across the street from the historic Balmoral Hotel, the advent calendar is a beautiful addition to the festivities going on throughout the heart of town, such as the Christmas market and the cocktail and street food festival. Moreover, the iconic General Register House was chosen as the project’s canvas not only because it conveniently possesses the requisite number of doors and windows for the calendar, but the projections use images sourced from the many records that are kept in the building itself.
Historic scenes that have played out against the General Register House’s facade have so far have included the opening of the new Scottish Parliament building, the end of wartime rationing and the construction of the famed Scott Monument. If you’ve missed a few, fear not: you can find recordings of all the projections here.
And so, if you’re in the mood for a real treat, head on down to the General Register House every evening this December between 5pm and 10pm, and experience some of the great events that have shaped this city into the renowned paragon of beauty, history and celebration that we know and love.