Scotland\'s Winter Festival celebrations started on Friday St. Andrew\'s Day to have a nearly two-month-long holiday season including Christmas and the New Year. At East Princes Street at city center, the highland village attracted crowded people to enjoy steaming hot sausages and battercake, buy toys and art products. At a toy booth, an old gentlemen extended holiday greetings to Xinhua and best wishes to enjoy life in Edinburgh. With free entrance on St. Andrew\'s Day, Edinburgh Castle attracted many visitors to get a bird\'s eye view of Edinburgh, capital of Scotland, including the shining lights on Scotland\'s NO. 1 Christmas tree, sky-scraping wheel and merry-go-around near Princes Street garden. Scottish style dance was said to be held before the Edinburgh Castle and grand fireworks were seen from the direction of the Castle at 8 p.m. local time (2000 GMT). In his St. Andrew\'s Day message, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond highlighted Scotland\'s proud history of invention and discovery as he extended a warm invite for overseas visitors to join in Scotland\'s Winter Festival celebrations. \"St Andrewss Day is a very special day in Scotland. A day when we celebrate Scotland\'s history, our people, our culture, but above all a celebration of our people. \" said Salmond. Recorded at a Primary School in Fife in eastern Scotland in a video, Salmond stressed the impact the Scottish innovation of universal free education has had on Scotland\'s history and the importance the excellent work being done in schools across Scotland has for the future. \"Scotland is proud of its history of invention and discovery. We actually invented quite a bit of the modern world, from the telephone, to television to penicillin to beta blockers. However, perhaps -- actually certainly -- our greatest invention of all, the one that made all of the others possible, was the invention of universal free education.\" he noted. \"It\'s fantastic to see schools like this encouraging the next generation of Scots to be inventive and creative. These are all deep seated characteristics of our nation and they will be as essential to our future success as they have been to our historic achievements. \" said the Scottish First Minister. He also extended an invite to the world to visit Scotland and join in the Winter Festival Celebrations to enjoy Scotland\'s rich culture, heritage and hospitality. Scotland\'s Winter Festival celebrations runs from St. Andrew\'s Day through Christmas and Hogmanay (New Year Eve), then right through to around Burns Night on Jan. 25.