The streets were eerily quiet last night as people across the north and north-east heeded the calls to stay at home for Hogmanay.
Organised fireworks displays, street parties and Stonehaven’s historic fireballs procession were all called off as a result of coronavirus.
And with police, health chiefs and politicians urging people to follow the Level 4 guidelines and remain within their own household for the bells, the celebrations were certainly subdued.
In Aberdeen at midnight, a handful of people were scattered along Union Street – normally heaving with revellers moving from pub to pub on Hogmanay.
Others were seen outside, hopeful of catching some of the fireworks being set off across the city throughout the night – with the beach and Rosemount areas lit with explosions of colour at very intervals.
While there were no midnight fireworks at Edinburgh Castle, a spectacular display was held at the Wallace Monument in Stirling.
In Edinburgh, the annual Princes Street Gardens party was replaced by a series of illuminated “drone swarm” videos.
The videos titled Fare Well, featured 150 illuminated drones which formed symbols and animals in a “beautiful ode to Scotland”. It was narrated by actor David Tennant and included verses written by Scotland’s official poet, makar Jackie Kay.
Although the film, produced by Underbelly, makes it appear as though the drones were above Edinburgh Castle, they were actually flown in the Highlands due to coronavirus restrictions.
London also welcomed in 2021 with a dazzling light and fireworks show on the Thames, which included tributes to the NHS and iconic symbols of the year of Covid-19, including Captain Tom – and the dreaded mute button.
Amid the fireworks, several images filled the sky over the O2 Arena formed by 300 drones, one of which showed the NHS logo in a love heart while a child’s voice said “Thank you NHS heroes”.
The 10-minute show ended with a ecological rallying call from Sir David Attenborough, reminding all of a reality shown so starkly in the past 12 months – the fragility of life on earth.
“Our planet is unique – a living world of diversity and wonder,” Sir David said. “It’s also fragile.
“With a new year comes the opportunity for change, and if we act in 2021 we can make a world of difference.
“Together we can turn things around. Together we can restore our fragile home, and make it a happy new year for all the inhabitants of planet Earth.”