While New Year’s Eve is celebrated around the world, we Scots have a long rich heritage associated with this event – and we even have our own name for it, Hogmanay!
There are so many theories on why we call it this, but the most likely source is that of the Gaelic word, oge maiden which means new morning.
We like to party up here in Scotland however we still adhere to our traditions. Immediately after midnight, it is traditional for us to sing Robert Burns’ “For Auld Lang Syne” which means for times gone by.
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”
An integral part of the Hogmanay partying, which continues very much today, is to welcome friends and strangers, with warm hospitality to wish everyone a Happy New Year. The underlying belief is to clear out the vestiges of the old year, have a clean break and welcome in a young, New Year on a happy note.” First footing” (that is, the “first foot” in the house after midnight) is what we call it. To ensure good luck for the house, the first foot should be male and should bring symbolic coal, shortbread, salt, black bun and whisky. These days, however, whisky and perhaps shortbread are the only items still prevalent (and available)!
So wherever you are and however you are celebrating, from a very busy Edinburgh, we want to wish you A Very Happy New Year and a Prosperous 2014!
P.S Oh and it is worth remembering that January 2nd is a holiday in Scotland as well as the first day of the year – this gives us all time to recover from a week of merry-making and celebration!
- 31 Dec, 2013
- Louise MacKenzie
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