Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Hogmanay!

Being Scottish, today is an important day! Hogmanay is the last day of the year and the Scots take it very seriously! My parents have lots of stories of wild nights spent going from house to house celebrating with their friends and neighbours! These days we spend New Years Day with my parents and have Hogmanay dinner with all of our parents. The menu ALWAYS includes steak pie (my Gran's recipe) and roasted potatoes. My mum makes shortbread and I make the haggis pastries. It is a great way to start the new year!

**There are many customs, both national and local, associated with Hogmanay. The most widespread national custom is the practice of 'first-footing' which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt (less common today), coal, shortbread, whisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake) intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. Food and drink (as the gifts) are then given to the guests. This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning and well into the next day (although modern days see people visiting houses until 3 January). The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year.

Although it is acceptable in many places for the first-footer to be a resident of the house, they must not be in the house at the stroke of midnight in order to first-foot (thus going out of the house after midnight and then coming back in to the same house is not considered to be first-footing). The first-foot is traditionally a tall, dark-haired male; a female or fair-haired male are in some places regarded as unlucky.

The first-foot usually brings several gifts, including perhaps a coin, bread, salt, coal, or a drink (usually whisky), which respectively represent financial prosperity, food, flavour, warmth, and good cheer.

Auld Lang Syne was written by Scotland's National Poet, Robert Burns and literally means "old long since", but a more idiomatic English translation would be something like "long long ago", "days of long ago", or "olden days". "For old times' sake," or "to the (good) old days," or "To days(or times) gone by" may be modern-day expressions, in common use as toasts, that capture the spirit of "for auld lang syne". Although the song begins with a question whether old times should be forgotten, the song is generally interpreted as a call to remember long standing friendships.**

**Source - Wikipedia**


Have a fabulous day!

16 comments:

CatHerder said...

I am Scottish as well...tonight will be rather auspicious, as its not only new years eve, but a blue moon as well....hopefully it will ring in alot of good luck for us all in 2010!

preppyplayer said...

I love learning new "stuff!" We went to a cutting of the Haggis last year, too much fun, kilts and all!

Sherrie said...

What interesting traditions. Have a wonderful New Year!

Scottish Twins said...

Happy Hogmanay!

I want to eat at your house.

Toad said...

the celts believed it was auspicious to have ared haired child first foot. Our grand daughter fills the bill for us, each year. Have a great new year, and keep up the wonderful work.

Misplaced Country Girl said...

Well you learn something new everyday! That is such a sweet tradition. I love the meaning behind it. I hope that you have a wonderful New Year!

Gwen said...

What a fun tradition. I want to be the first footing at someone's house this year!!! Have a wonderful Hogmanay!!! XOXO

PinkPolkadotAA said...

Oh my goodness that all sounds so good! Have a very Happy New Year. Glad you liked the bracelet, I was very impressed with their products :)

Melissa said...

Hello!

I just found your blog. It is simply wonderful.

Happy Holidays!

Jo said...

What wonderful traditions! Have a very Happy New Year.

Jo

Dumbwit Tellher said...

I found your blog today through "Toad". My husband has shared great stories of Hogmanay. He said the very same thing of the whole neighborhood going from home to home and partying for several days without sleep. Such a fabulous tradition. People long ago knew how to create great fun no matter what their income. I know he misses all the great traditions since living her in the U.S. So from our Scottish household to yours, we wish you a glorious 2010. I will be back for more fun. All my very best, deb

Sher said...

I love reading about traditions. Here's wishing you a Happy New Year too!

New England Girl said...

In all the years I lived in Edinburgh, Scotland, I never once was in the city at Hogmanay. I had always headed home on winter break well before then, and wouldn't return until some time after. I always loved hearing stories about Princes' Street and Princes' Street Gardens... from what I understand, the party was always in full-swing and it was always enjoyable, no matter what the weather. :)
I hope your evening was lovely and super enjoyable. Happy New Year to you and yours. :)

kanishk said...

I want to be the first footing at someone's house this year!
buy wagyu

日月神教-任我行 said...

走光,色遊戲,情色自拍,kk俱樂部,好玩遊戲,免費遊戲,貼圖區,好玩遊戲區,中部人聊天室,情色視訊聊天室,聊天室ut,成人遊戲,免費成人影片,成人光碟,情色遊戲,情色a片,情色網,性愛自拍,美女寫真,亂倫,戀愛ING,免費視訊聊天,視訊聊天,成人短片,美女交友,美女遊戲,18禁,三級片,自拍,後宮電影院,85cc,免費影片,線上遊戲,色情遊戲,日本a片,美女,成人圖片區,avdvd,色情遊戲,情色貼圖,女優,偷拍,情色視訊,愛情小說,85cc成人片,成人貼圖站,成人論壇,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,免費a片,視訊美女,視訊做愛,免費視訊,伊莉討論區,sogo論壇,台灣論壇,plus論壇,維克斯論壇,聊天室

Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!

Cheers
Christian, iwspo.net