Hogmanay revellers offered Games image

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Partygoers at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay can get a special digital welcome to the start of Olympic and Paralympic year.

A virtual surprise created by Michael Craig-Martin, a London 2012 poster designer, will come to life through a special app on mobile phones that are pointed at Edinburgh Castle at midnight on Sunday.

The app – that can be downloaded from www.edinburghshogmanay.com/london2012 – from tomorrow, allows revellers to get ready for the image to appear.

At midnight on Sunday, partygoers can point their phone at Edinburgh Castle and a special reality e-card will pop up on the phone that can be included as the backdrop in photos taken in Edinburgh.

London 2012 organisers hope users will then tap into social media and send the greeting on to friends and family.

As many as 80,000 revellers could be set to attend the UK’s largest New Year’s party and the midnight fireworks, according to Peter Irvine, creative director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

Ruth Mackenzie, director of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival, said: “We’re excited to be working with Edinburgh’s Hogmanay for our first countdown event which, in this digital age, brings together new technologies and art for the New Year celebrations in Edinburgh. We hope @thistimeofyear will bring a fun dimension to the celebrations as we see in the Olympic and Paralympic year.”

Andrew Dixon, Creative Scotland’s chief executive, said: “Scotland is a festival nation and Hogmanay is one of the biggest and best.

“This Hogmanay will kick off an extraordinary, year-long celebration of Scottish creativity for the Year of Creative Scotland 2012 and the London 2012 Festival - and @thistimeofyear is the perfect start!”