A capacity crowd of 10,000 people packed into the streets of Stonehaven to witness the annual Hogmanay fireball spectacle.
Having seen in the bells, revellers were treated to a half-hour torchlit procession of 50 fireball swingers, whirling the 5kg fireballs round their heads while marching down from Bervie Braes, onto the High Street and finally to the harbour, where the fireballs were launched into the sea.
Visitors came from as far afield as Australia and Japan to witness the iconic event.
The ceremony goes back around 150 years and is believed to have pagan origins.
According to legend, the ceremony burns off bad spirits from the previous year, so the New Year can begin afresh.
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Each swinger must build their own fireball about a month before Hogmanay, and fill it with their own recipe of combustible material before they are lit.
Fifty carefully-selected swingers took part in this year’s event, among them five first-time participants who had alreadt met the challenging of proving the were capable of swinging their fiery cargo for at least 20 minutes.
As well as the main event of the fireballs, the crowd were kept entertained with music from the Newtonhill and Howe of the Mearns Pipe Bands and the Guarana Street Band.
There were also fire-throwing pyrotechnics from Pyro Celtica.
Among the revellers was Sandra Gray, 33, from Blackburn, who praised the “friendly and festive” atmosphere.
“We arrived early but there must have been more than 4,000 people on the streets already and everyone seemed quite excited,” she said.
“It was a real community effort and a lot of the shops had opened late to sell hot food and drink.
“There were people lining every street you could think of and the harbour was packed.
“It was a fantastic show. The lit pathway and torch dance were an unexpected extra as we waited for the fireballs.
“It couldn’t have been much better – and thankfully it was a very mild night too.”
Vice-chair of Stonehaven Fireballs Association, Jim Stephen, said it had been a great night.
“We had people travelling from everywhere, Australia, New Zealand, America, Canada, China, Japan – just for the fireballs.
“It’s great for Stonehaven and it’s great for Scotland really as well.
“I think the dry, mild weather made a big difference, certainly to the atmosphere – it was one of the loudest Hogmanays we’ve had.”
And Mr Stephen said many of those who had enjoyed the fireballs had stayed-on to make the most of their visit to the town.
“A lot of the same faces who went to the fireballs were at the Nippy Dip in the morning,” he said.
“It’s great the way people get involved at New Year.”