Hogmanay is the New Year in Scotland. It is thebiggest celebration in Scotland and carry on for thelongest period of time. Hogmanay is the Scot‟s wordfor the last day of the year, 31st December.
Hogmanay has its origin in pagan times, an ancienttime when the people would hold festivals for thesun and fire in the middle of the winter, to helpthem go through the cold hard times and toencourage the warmth and the longer days toreturn in the spring.
Hogmanay toastsA traditional Scottish New Year toast is: “Lang may yerlum reek!”Another New Year toast said by Scottish people is: “Aguid New Year to ane an a and mony may ye see”
CustomsThere are many customs associated withHogmanay. The most widespread nationalcustoms:• „first-footing‟• fireball swinging• burning the clavie• saining (Scots for protecting, blessing) of thehousehold and livestock• singing "Auld Lang Syne"
„First - footing‟It starts immediately after midnight. This involvesbeing the first person to cross the threshold of a friendor neighbor and often involves the giving of symbolicgifts such as salt (less common today), coal,shortbread, whisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake)intended to bring different kinds of luck to thehouseholder. The first-foot is supposed to set the luckfor the rest of the year.
Fireball swingingThis involves local people making up balls ofchicken wire filled with old newspaper, sticks, rags,and other dry flammable material up to a diameterof 2 feet, each attached to about 3 feet of wire,chain or nonflammable rope.
Burning the clavieThe clavie is a bonfire of casks split in two, lighted on11 January. One of these casks is joined together againby a huge nail. It is then filled with tar, lighted andcarried flaming round the village and finally up to aheadland upon which stands the ruins of an altar,locally called the Douro. It here forms the nucleus ofthe bonfire, which is built up of split casks.
"Auld Lang Syne“It is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost everyEnglish-speaking country in the world to bring in theNew Year. It was written by Robert Burns. An oldScottish tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "oldlong ago," or simply, "the good old days."
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