Wishing You A Great 2012!
Hogmanay is the Scots word for the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner. Its official date is the 31st of December. However this is normally only the start of a celebration which lasts through the night until the morning of the 1st or, in many cases, the 2nd of January.
There are many customs, both national and local, associated with Hogmanay. The most widespread national custom is the practice of first-footing which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as coal or shortbread, intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning and well into the next day.
Immediately after midnight it is traditional to sing Robert Burns’ “For Auld Lang Syne”. Burns claimed it was based on an earlier fragment and certainly the tune was in print over 80 years before he published his version in 1788.
“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.”
And it is worth remembering that January 2nd is a holiday in Scotland as well as the first day of the year – to give us all time to recover from a week of merry-making and celebration, all part of Scotland’s fascinating cultural legacy of ancient customs and traditions surrounding the pagan festival of Hogmanay.
All the very best from Scotiana’s Team