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How To Celebrate The New Year Scottish Style
Happy New Year Scottish Style
With Christmas finished and done with for another year, you hardly have time to take a breath before it is time to think about how you are going to celebrate the new year which is only a week away, Will you be going out to a party? Will you be hosting a party? Will you just have a quiet night at home and see the new year with your family? Or will you just treat it like any other day and go to bed?
Around the world people celebrate the dawning of a new year in many different ways, different cultures have different traditions, no more so than the people of Scotland.
In Scotland, Christmas is a celebration mainly centered around the children where as the New Year is a time for the adults to let their hair down, if they have any.
At Christmas time in Scotland children excitedly await the big day with thoughts of what MR Santa Claus and his reindeer might leave for them under the tree.
As a new year approaches Adults in Scotland excitedly await the stroke of midnight with a glass in hand hoping that MR Johnnie Walker or Mr Jim Beam will keep their glasses full all night long.
Hogmanay or new years eve is a day of preparation for the big day in Scotland.
Alcohol and food are the order of the day and plenty of both are required.
The main reason for preparation the day before new years day is that no one expects to be in a fit state of health from the night of celebration.
Party food such as sausage rolls, sandwiches, short bread biscuits cakes and of course soft drinks for the children.
Home made Scotch broth followed by a steak pie is a favorite dinner choice for new years day, stewing steak beef sausages gravy and onion topped with puff pastry with potato and neaps (turnip), followed by a trifle or some sort of cream cake.
Once that you are certain that you have enough alcohol for the night ahead and everything is set up for the nights activities, all that you have to do now is sit back and wait for midnight maybe with a little glass or two just to warm you up of course.
All is prepared and made on Hogmanay to save hangover mistakes on new years day.
A Scottish New Year Tradition
In Scotland it is tradition to open up the front door of your home on the stroke of midnight to let in the New Year then open up the back door of your home to let out the old year.
On the stroke of midnight to signify the beginning of a new year, church bells ring, the cannon at Edinburgh castle is fired, ships in harbor sound their fog horns and fireworks are set off all around the country. In Scotland the stroke of midnight is called "The Bells"
After the bells it is traditional to wish everyone in your company a happy new year with a handshake or a kiss and drink a toast to the new year with a small dram of the amber nectar otherwise known as whisky.
First Foot and First Footing
If after the initial celebration of the new year you can either stay in and hope that someone will come to your home and first foot you or you can go out first footing and visit a friends home.
A first foot is the first person invited into your home in the new year and it is considered to be lucky if you are first footed early on new years day.
A first footer should be tall and dark haired if he/she wishes to bring luck into your home, of course if you are short or have a light hair color or even if you are bald so long as you have a piece of coal on your person as a gift for the household then the luck is still there. You should present the coal to the head of the household with the words "May yer lum aye reek".
The celebrations go on until the wee small hours of the morning and often well into the after noon of new years day.
Happy New Year!!!!