Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Hogmanay

over Atlanta, Georgia

Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year. It is, however, normally only the start of a celebration which lasts through the night until the morning of New Year's Day or, in some cases, 2 January which is a Scottish Bank Holiday.

Though each area of Scotland developed its own particular Hogmanay rituals,
there are many national customs 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 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 well into January). The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year. Traditionally, tall dark men are preferred as the first-foot. wikipedia;

Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet, wrote the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne in the 19th century. The title translates to old long since, and is appropriately sung to remember old friends, and the events of the passing year. The tune is from an old Scottish folk song.

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and days of auld lang syne?

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.

We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie's a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

Happy New Year to you all!


  1. We know this song in Italy too, so are you Scottish?
    Happy new year to you!

  2. Happy New Year Mya and I see you made it up later than I did. I fell asleep at 9:30 and my honey woke me up at midnight for a second to wish me happy new years LOL I've been working on your wool box and I love the way it's turning out. I should finish it this weekend. Hugs!

  3. Love all the information Mya. Traditions are very important but we are losing a lot of them as the generations pass. Hope you and yours have a wonderful 2011.

  4. I did not make it until midnight but when all the fireworks started with their loud pops I was up the rest of the night. I like your post very much. Funny I have never liked that song even when James Taylor sings it. Have a Happy New Year !

  5. Hi Mya

    Happy New Year From Southern California.

    Don't forget to watch the 122nd Rose Parade on New Year's Day coming from Pasadena, California...only 30 miles from The Old Geezer's home :-) If you miss the live telecast, I'm sure there will be lots of reruns through out the day.

    No matter what looms ahead, if you can eat today, enjoy today, mix good cheer with friends today enjoy it and bless God for it. ~Henry Ward Beecher

    May God Bless and Protect You in the Year to Come. ~Ron

  6. A great post! Happy New Year Mya! Wishing you the best of everything in 2011!

  7. interesting facts. And I never understood the words to Auld lang sye or what it even meant. Thanks for this...and Mya...Happy New Year!!!

  8. Where do you FIND all your interesting information? Or do you just KNOW a lot of stuff? : )

    Have a wonderful New Year 2011, Mya!


  9. Hi Mya! Happy New Year (Hogmanay!)
    I am part Scottish, but no one on that side of the family ever told me about any traditions or ancestors, etc. Someday, I hope to look into it more and eventually actually visit Scotland!