While Christmas has a plethora of songs associated with it, New Years only has one – Auld Lang Syne. The lyrics are a poem by the famous Scottish poet Robbie Burns and the tune is a traditional folk song. While the poem is credited to Burns, he even admitted himself that some of the lines were told to him by others and he just happened to be the one to write them down. While it is fun to sing Auld Lang Syne on New Years, not everyone can say that they have sung this well known tune at a traditional Hogmanay in Scotland.
For most Western countries, Christmas is the biggest holiday of the season. For Scotland, it is New Year’s Eve. More commonly known as Hogmanay, the celebrations that happen throughout Scotland on this night are delightfully boisterous. Between the street parties and the house parties, anyone who is in Scotland for Hogmanay needs to be prepared for a night full of celebrations. In the major cities, grand displays of fireworks are set off over the city skyline at midnight. If you don’t want to be outside in the freezing cold, it won’t be hard to find a lively ceilidh (pronounced ‘kay-lee’ and best described as the precursor of square dancing). For any gentlemen who are tall and dark haired attending a house party, you might end up taking part in a ‘First Footing’ – if you do, make sure to bring a gift to the house!
There is nothing quite like standing in the Scottish cold night air on New Year’s Eve and waiting for the fireworks to go off over Edinburgh Castle. With our help, you could be celebrating Hogmanay next New Year’s Eve!
Edinburgh Skyline – Photo Credit John H Rex