THE CITY // Aberdeen Torcher Parade

Every year - for the past 126 of them - Aberdeen University Students' Association have organised a bright and noisy procession of floats, fire and family fun through the centre of Aberdeen. Known as the Torcher Parade, the annual event is thought to be Europe's largest student-led parade and raises thousands of pounds for local and national charities every year. 

This year's event took place a week ago today, on Saturday 28th March, and I decided to pop down and see it for the very first time. The parade of dancers, jugglers, drummers, cheerleaders and costume-clad students and community groups began at the Gallowgate with Marischal College as its backdrop, proceeding through town as the darkness drew in. Torches were lit at the Queens Cross roundabout (where my camera batteries promptly gave up) before the parade continued down Albyn Place and onto Union Street. 

It was a fun event that brought together people of all ages - though the crowds weren't as big as I expected them to be - and it was nice to see for myself what the fuss was about and to have an excuse to get the camera out...

I went to a very small university that didn't have these sorts of events, so I'm curious to know if they happen elsewhere in Scotland as well. Have you ever been along or particpated in one yourself?

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  1. Ah the Torcher Parade! You have captured the atmosphere perfectly in your photos. I was in the Torcher Parade for the four years that I studied Gaelic, 1992-1996. I was a nun one year on the Celtic Society float with the theme of early Christianity. I still have a t-shirt with a paint stain on it from helping build the float - you only had a day in which to do it. In my last year a few of us were invited to be the torchbearers at the beginning of the parade. This meant we could pick out a costume from a shop, rather than make our own. I was Minnie Mouse. Not long after, we met our (adopted) son, who was 3. He saw a photo of me dressed as Minnie Mouse and said very sternly: "I never want you to do that again!" I assured him I would not, and I haven't! Happy memories though.