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Happy Hogmanay!




 
December 30, 2012 - Dean Nixon -

New Year in Scotland - Hogmanay

New Year in Scotland as it's known to outsiders or Hogmanay as it's known to the Scots, is one of the UK's best attractions. As a rule, Hogmanay starts at noon upon Dec.31st going through to midday on Jan. 1st, although in the present day it could actually run to Jan 2nd, all determined by area custom.

The explanation as to why Hogmanay has become so outstanding inside Scotland is simply because Christmas time had been prohibited by the Scottish Presbyterian Church from the 17th century to the 1950's. It is said by many people that the Scottish usually do not really observe Christmas, it is simply the warm up for the big event - Hogmanay!

Festivals occur from metropolitan areas to small communities such as Kilmelford on the western coast. Those wishing a traditional Hogmanay in this kind of restful landscape will get superior self-catering cottages in places such as Melfort Village.
 

The Distant Past

It is certainly likely that a lot of the conventional Hogmanay activities reached Scotland through the invading Vikings in excess of 1200 years ago.

Fireworks, along with torchlight processions, happen all through Scotland. These hark the return to longstanding pagan traditions, not to mention the Viking invaders. Believed to have begun along with the Wintertime Solstice, Hogmanay was linked with moving fireballs. The particular flames depicted the sunlight and its ability to 'eat' bad spirits and therefore cleanse the entire world.

Flames have always been a component of traditional Hogmanay occasions, when the flames feed on the old to produce room for new and bring the light of knowledge collected from the previous 12 months and carry them forward to the next 12.


Traditions


In advance of midnight upon 31st December, a variety of superstitions and pursuits happen to be practised: disposing of fireplace ashes, home cleaning, settling your debts as well as suspending thirteen garlic bulbs in the kitchen space to take away undesirable powers, are a few of them.

An old Hogmanay custom is 'first footing', that begins just after midnight. This is where the initial individual to enter a residence that New Year's Day shows up bearing gifts such as coal or whiskey, the 'first foot' is known as a bringer of success for that approaching year.

The 'First Foot' has to be a dark male in order that the home is going to have best of luck. Rather this than a blond with an axe - as the Vikings were. Definitely bad luck there!

Traditional Hogmanay can see people decorated in hides of cows and rampaging through the community while getting struck by sticks. Much the same custom is preserved using a man in animal hide going to people's doors. Bonfires are lit up and torches tossed. Branches will have animal hide put on them and subsequently ignited. The actual smoke (known as Hogmanay) was imagined to eradicate wicked spirits.

Some customs still remain, mainly in the far away Highlands and Islands. Youthful men on the Isle of Lewis (Outer Hebrides) assemble in opposing groupings; the leader wearing sheep skin, while another has a sack. The groups recite a Gaelic poem then head out house to house. The children obtain bannocks (fruit buns) to put in their bag.

Little ones, at the same time, run around singing as well as pleading for gifts in the form of oaten cakes. Classic food items tend to be bannocks, black buns and ankersocks (gingerbread), oarsmen and shortbread.

Doors will be opened and items are actually rattled to push away from the final psychic vestiges of the old year together with encouraging in the new.

Traditional Hogmanay partying today embraces all, friends plus visitors. A comfortable welcome, plenty of kissing and everybody is wished ‘Guid New Year'.


Scotland's Influence Word Wide


Scotland's primary poet is Robbie Burns, his most well-known composition, Auld Lang Syne, is sung during Hogmanay activities, without delay, after midnight.



"Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind.?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie's a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne."


About the Author

Dean Nixon, as a timeshare owner at Melfort Village in Scotland owns week 52. This gives him New Year in Scotland every year.

By profession he is a private English tutor in Stoke On Trent, England.

His passion is blogging on his Experienced Tutors blog.


 

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