Monday, October 18, 2010

A week of holidays and gatherings! Day 2

We call it New Year's Eve. The people of Scotland call it HOGMANAY and they have a long and rich tradition with this holiday.

Many people have their ideas of where the word "Hogmanay" may have derived from. The Scandanavians use "Hoggo-nott" to describe the feast that proceeded Yule. The Flemish used "hoog min dag" meaning "great love day." Also, the Anglo-Saxons used Haleg monath, or Holy month. "Oge maidne" is Gaelic meaning new morning. But the most likely source is from the French. "Homme est né" or "man is born."

Did you know that for 400 years, Christmas was not celebrated and virtually banned in Scotland from the 17th century to the 1950's? This came from the Protestant Reformation when the Kirk believed Christmas to be a Catholic feast. Many Scots worked on Christmas, therefore they would gather their family and friends together at New Year's Eve and exchange gifts.

One tradition is to clean house before midnight including the ashes from the fireplace.

A big part of the Hogmanay celebration is to welcome friends and family with a warm welcome and a 'kiss' to wish everyone a Giude New Year. The belief is to clear out old feelings and bring in the New Year with a clean slate. Don't forget about singing "Auld Lang Syne" by Robert Burns, who is Scottish.

"Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne."

Check out tomorrow to find out what happens on January 1st.!


  1. Great info, Sarah! I had no idea Christmas was banned from Scotland for such a long period of time. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to finding out what happens on January 1st.

  2. Thanks Jena. I appreciate you stopping by!