New Year and the traditions of Hogmanay

As many will know, Hogmanay is the Scottish celebration of New Year and it is fast approaching! We thought we would share how Hogmanay is celebrated so that you can get in on the festivities, including The Highland Club’s very own Hogmanay celebration! Click here to for more information!

Hogmanay is a Scottish word synonymous with the New Year celebration. It is supposed to have come from the Old French aguillanneuf, due to a medieval alliance between France and Scotland. Though French in name, its origins  are thought to go back to Norse and Gaelic celebrations.

Nonetheless, the Scottish have taken this celebration and really turned it into their own with many traditions and customs that are still followed to this day!

  1. First Footing.
    Similar to the idea of carrying your spouse over the threshold of your marital home, first footing refers to the first foot over the threshold of a house in the new year. The first foot will then be followed by the rest of the body, carrying gifts and treats as good omens for the year to come. Be careful though! If your first footer is tall, dark (and handsome) you’re thought to have more luck in the year to come! So guests, pick out your first footer and on the strike of twelve, have them bound over the entrance to your self-catered apartment to join the festivities!
  2. Cleaning your house.
    Whilst this is less of a tradition for any guests staying at The Highland Club, many households observe the tradition of giving their homes a mid-winter clean to welcome in the New Year!
  3. Continue celebrating!
    One of the definitive parts of Hogmanay is that it doesn’t last for one evening, but rather for over 2 days! Parties rage from New Years Eve all the way to the 2nd January, which is a public holiday. It’s a really memorable way to welcome in the New Year!
  4. Whisky.
    For all those reading under the ages of 18, pay no heed to this one. For everyone else, grab your finest Scotch! Of course no Hogmanay party would be complete without Scotland’s very own drink. Whilst we will not be able to provide Scotch or any alcoholic beverages at our Hogmanay party, take a wee dram down and enjoy yourselves amongst our other festivities!
  5. Auld Lang Syne.
    Most households will know this song, a tradition that has taken off around the world. Rewritten by Scotland’s  Robert Burns in the 1780s, it is spoken in the Scots language and even comes from earlier Scots origins. Auld lang syne can be translated as ‘Old Long Since’, ‘Long Long Ago’ or ‘Days gone by’ so ‘For auld lang syne’ roughly means ‘for the sake of old times’. It’s a wonderful way to bide in the new year and say goodbye to the past.And just so that you can sing it, we’ve provided the lyrics below in the original Scots writing! Happy New Year to all!


Auld Lang Syne Lyrics

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne.

Chorus:

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne,

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp!
And surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Chorus

We twa hae run about the braes
And pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot
Sin auld lang syne.

Chorus

We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
Frae mornin’ sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.

Chorus

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right guid willy waught,
For auld lang syne.

Chorus

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
And long, long ago.

Chorus

And for long, long ago, my dear
For long, long ago,
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For long, long ago

And surely youll buy your pint-jug!
And surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
For long, long ago.

Chorus

We two have run about the hills
And pulled the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered manys the weary foot
Since long, long ago.

Chorus

We two have paddled in the stream,
From morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
Since long, long ago.

Chorus

And there’s a hand, my trusty friend!
And give us a hand of yours!
And we’ll take a deep draught of good-will
For long, long ago.

Chorus

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