THE waters are calling. So, dive in. The Year of Coast And Waters is an invitation to get out there and revel in our lochs, rivers, burns, shores and seas. Starting on Wednesday, it’s set to be one long carnival of watery love,. To kick it off Edinburgh’s Hogmanay’s A Message From The Skies will take a Shorelines theme, projecting onto walls of the city words from some of our finest writers and artists – Irvine Welsh, Kathleen Jamie, Kayus Bankole, Charlotte Runcie and Robin Robertson.

The Clyde will call for us next, when on January 18, Storm, a ten metres tall puppet folkloric giant, hair of kelp and voice the chorus of the waves, appears at Celtic Connections’ Coastal Connections Day, rising from the river and “bringing together a tide of people for a carnival of colour”. Celtic Connections will also host musicians from over twenty islands, coasts and peninsulas performing, including Tiree-based Skerryvore, Oban-founded Capercaillie, Hebridean super-group Daimh, North Uist's Julie Fowlis and Orkney roots groups Gnoss and Fara. Storm will also visit other areas of the country throughout the year.

Also on January 18, Launch! a live event which brings together a film exploring the heritage and cultural legacy of the RNLI with beat-boxing by Jason Singh, will begin its tour from Tobermory to Lerwick, and, from the start of February, Nevis Ensemble will begin a tour in which they work with communities on the Isle of Eigg, Aberdeen, Saltcoats and Stevenston, and Dunbar to create new orchestral music telling the story of each place’s relationship with the seas around them, with composers from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

In April, Dolphinfest 2020, Aberdeen will be celebrated as a destination for watching dolphins, which are regularly seen from its harbour shore. The festival will bring pop-up activities to the city as well as conservation talks and citizen science projects. Also for nature lovers, later, in June, the Scottish Seabird Centre will host Marine Fest, with events highlighting the wonders of our sea life, including rock pooling, guided walks, citizen science, crafts, activities and interactive science shows.

From spring onwards, over sixty community coastal rowing clubs will stage Rowaround Scotland, in which a commemorative baton will be passed from boat to boat around the coast of Scotland. Then, in May, Canal Festival Time Machine will bring to life tales of the Forth & Clyde Canal through art, music, and performance along four-miles of the waterway, which will be begin with some jaw-dropping spectacles at the Kelpies. And Dumbarton 2020, in June, will celebrate, through music and live events, the way the town was shaped by water, whether ship-building – this was where the Cutty Sark was built – or distilling.

Later in the year, Loch Ken in Dumfries and Galloway will be the site of Autumn Enduro, a thrilling programme of endurance events, Northern Lights Festival will light up Wick Harbour and the Caithness Coastline, and, from September 19, Clydebuilt Festival will bring the River Clyde to life with colour, activity, and lots and lots of boats.

There will also be Coast and Waters themed events at StAnza poetry festival, the Edinburgh Science Festival, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, the Fife Regatta, Edinburgh International Film Festival, The Skye Festival, the Glasgow Canal Festival, Shetland Boat Week, and many other locations around the country.

For event listings, see