As we look toward the New Year, we celebrate Hogmanay in Scotland – which is rich in traditions in addition to the parties that take place around the country.
Some traditions celebrated with the New Year are explained below!
Many believe that you must end the year on a good note in order to start the year on a good note. It is common practice to clean the house from top to bottom, including sweeping out the chimney. Additionally, people often try to rid of any debts by midnight.
First-footing is a regular Hogmanay practice in which as soon as the clock strikes 12, people head toward their family homes to be the first person to enter the household. This person sets the precedent for the rest of the year and is rewarded with a drink of whisky.
When the day turns, people join hands to sing Auld Lang Syne, the song written by Robert Burns which speaks of old friends and old times not being forgotten despite them being passed. You stand in a circle to sing, and when the song ends, everyone rushes to the center circle.
Fire plays a significant role during Hogmanay, often shown by fire festivals. It’s thought to be from the pagan traditions of the pre-Christian Celts.
There are many traditions associated with Hogmanay and all are what make the New Year special for the people of Scotland.