It’s the start of a new year and we recommend you start it by being wild… so this month’s bucket list includes jumping into a freezing river and travelling to one of the remotest parts of the UK for a wild party that includes a boat being burned, just for fun.

Loony Dook

Photo credit: Chris Watt

What: Loony Dook

When: 1st Jan

Where: South Queensferry, Edinburgh

Cost: £12 and free to observe

The Loony Dook takes place on the first day of each new year. It is when a thousand brave people dress up in fancy dress and throw themselves into the freezing cold water of the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry.

The madness is to raise money for charity and to celebrate the New Year in a uniquely crazy way!

What are the times?

10.45am – Parade from Hawes car park

12.30pm – The madness starts

How to get there?

Lothian Country runs buses to and from South Queensferry. Dalmeny train station is also relatively near to the event and around 20 minutes from Waverley Station and 15 minutes from Haymarket Station.

Twelfth Night Celebrations

Photo credit: Sasastro on Flickr

What: Twelfth Night Celebrations

Where: Bankside, London

When: 6th Jan, 2pm

Cost: Free

The Twelfth Night marks the end of the Christmas season but if you don’t want the celebration to end, here’s something for you.

Come to a party at Bankside and be in with a chance of being the King or Queen of the parade that snakes the length of the beautiful south bank. If you are lucky enough to find a bean or a pea in cakes that will be handed out at the end of the Twelfth Night performance, outside the famous Shakespeare’s Globe.

The celebration is completely free! Find more information here.

Burn’s Night

10 Fun facts about Haggis, a dish that is traditionally eaten the celebrate Burns Night.
Photo credit to Tess Watson on Flickr

What: Burn’s Night

Where: Throughout the UK, especially in Scotland

When: 25th Jan

Cost: Various

Burns Night is celebrated by Scots around the world to remember the life of the poet Robert Burns and his contribution to Scottish culture. 

The celebrations include a Burns Supper which includes haggis. For those of you who don’t know what that is. It is a savoury sausage, that is made of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs which are minced and traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach and boiled.

Find out if your university is planning a Burn’s Night supper. We promise it will be a night to remember.

The Horror-on-Sea Film Festival

What: The Horror-on-Sea Film Festival

Where: Park Inn Palace, Southend-on-Sea, Essex

When: 11th-13th & 18th-20th Jan

Cost: Day pass £25; weekend pass £60

If you like to feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and your heart beat getting faster, just for fun, then this is the festival for you.

The Horror-On-Sea Film Festival will showcase 37 gruesome feature films and 63 nail-biting short films from around the world.

Horror film lovers will gather in the sleepy Essex seaside town of Southend-on-Sea to indulge their passion for the macabre over the two weekends.  

For a full list of all the films check out their website.

Up Helly Aa

What: Up Helly Aa

Where: Lerwick, Shetland Islands

When: 29th Jan

Cost: Free

The town of Lerwick, one of the remote islands off Scotland, goes a little mad for 24 hours when they burn a beautiful boat the islanders have taken four months to build in a tradition that goes back hundreds of years.

This normally sleepy town is ablaze with burnt torches when nearly one thousand men gather for the procession. The boat is paraded through the narrow streets. When it reaches its destination 900+ torches are thrown into the boat to create one mighty bonfire.