Scotland is celebrating Hogmanay, the last day of the year, with well known Scottish celebrations including first footing, redding the house, clearing all debts, fireworks, gift giving, torchlight processions, dancing, singing, and a wee dram or two.
Hogmanay celebrations in Scotland are largely considered to have originated by the invading Vikings in the 8th and 9th centuries and are the largest holiday celebrated in Scotland. Known as the place to celebrate New Year’s Eve around the globe, Scotland’s Hogmanay surpasses Christmas as the winter solstice holiday, as Christmas was frowned upon in Scotland for many years.
Redding the House, or preparing the house by fully cleaning it in preparation for the new year, is also sometimes accompanied by leaving the doors open to blow out the old and blow in the good.
First footing may be the most well known Scottish Hogmanay tradition. The first person that passes through one’s doorway is hoped to be a tall and dark haired stranger bringing a gift to share. They may even bring a black bun to share, a type of dense fruit cake. And naturally, a wee dram is always welcomed. Everyone around the world joins Scots in singing Robert Burns’ Auld Lang Syne when the clock welcomes in the new year.
Today SASJ joins our fellow Scots in wishing you and yours a very happy and healthy Hogmanay and Happy New Year!