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Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy Hogmanay!

You read it right...Happy Hogmanay!
Only one nation in the world celebrates the New Year or Hogmanay with such revelry and passion – the Scots!

It is believed that many of the traditional Hogmanay celebrations were originally brought to Scotland by the invading Vikings in the early 8th and 9th centuries. These Norsemen, or men from an even more northerly latitude than Scotland, paid particular attention to the arrival of the Winter Solstice or the shortest day, and fully intended to celebrate its passing with some serious partying.

When the clock strike midnight on 31st December, fireworks explode in Scotland. Crowds gather and the party begins to the tune of Robert Burns' Auld Lang Syne.

Traditions and superstitions related to Hogmanay:

One should clean the house on December 31st (this includes taking out the ashes from the fire).

One should clear all your debts before "the bells" ring at midnight.

One should welcome friends and strangers with warm hospitality and a kiss and to wish everyone a Guid New Year. It is verra important to clear out the vestiges of the old year before you welcome in a young, New Year.

"First footing" is still common in Scotland. To ensure good luck, the first person to enter your home should be male, dark (believed to be a throwback to the Viking days when blond strangers arriving on your doorstep meant trouble) This male should bring coal, shortbread, salt, black buns and whisky.

"Handselling" is the custom of gift giving on the first Monday of the New Year. So be sure to present your loved ones with a Hogmanay gift this year.



Kathy said...

Nice! I want a handsome Scot to bring me some goods!

Kathryn Albright said...

Well, as luck would have it, the first person through my door today was a male with dark hair--my son! He came empty-handed, but I was just happy he stayed safe on New Year's eve while having a good time with his friends! Thanks for a delightful post, Kimberly! And Guid New Year to you.

Dorthy said...

happy Hogmanay!

hope you have a wonderful 2010

librarypat said...

Happy Hogmanay.
Would love to some day be able to hear those pipers and drummers in person. Nothing can compare to the sound of pipes in the night.
librarypat AT comcast DOT net.