Dear all,

My partner and I were talking last night as we were watching “The Steamie” and I did not realise that not every family brought in the bells with the neighbors to then have a party lasting till the small hours of New Years days.  It was such a tradition in my family and I have such fond memories of my gran and aunties dancing and singing, welcoming in the New Year,

Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner. It is normally followed by further celebration on the morning of New Year’s Day or, in some cases, 2 January—a Scottish bank holiday

Derivation of the Word ‘Hogmanay’ The majority opinion is that comes from the Gaelic oge maidne meaning ‘New Morning’.  However, several French words have also been suggested as the source.  Hoguinané, or anguillanneuf, which roughly translated means New Year Gift. Perhaps the best way of summing up the Scot’s attitude to celebrating Hogmanay is to declare the 2nd of January as a public holiday – to recover from the new celebrations.

Before the Reformation in 1560, Christmas in Scotland had been a religious feasting day. Then, with the powerful Kirk frowning upon anything related to Roman Catholicism, the Scottish Parliament passed a law in 1640 that made celebrating ‘Yule vacations’ illegal.

Break ‘hogmanay‘ down into sounds: [HOG] + [MUH] + [NAY] – say it out loud and exaggerate the sounds until you can consistently produce them.

Hogmanay is what we Scots call New Year’s Eve – 31 December – the big night that marks the arrival of the new year. Its origins reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Vikings with wild parties in late December.

The Hogmanay festivities get underway about lunch time on the 31st of December.  At about 2 minutes to midnight a lone piper plays, then after the chimes of midnight everyone sings Auld Lang Syne.  

The traditions combine the Scots love for love for dancing, eating and storytelling. When exploring the streets of Edinburgh, or attending one of the world famous Highland games, in times gone by, you will undoubtedly come across men dressed kilts, or a bagpiper entertaining the crowds.

Here are some suggestions for your Hogmanay packing list.

  • Warm Hat. Keeping your head warm is a key component of staying warm as so much of our body heat can be lost through our heads. …
  • Warm coat. …
  • Fleece layer. …
  • Warm thermal baselayers. …
  • Pants / trousers / skirt. …
  • Gloves. …
  • Scarf. …
  • Thick socks.

Traditional gifts include a lump of coal to lovingly place on the host’s fire, along with shortbread, a black bun and whisky to toast to a Happy New Year. These days shortbread and whisky will suffice. Showing up empty handed is not only very rude but also bad luck!

Instead, the first-foot should bring a selection of gifts for the household, which can include; a silver coin; shortbread or a black bun; salt; coal; and a drink, usually whisky. They represent prosperity, food, flavour, warmth for the house, and good cheer – the whisky is used to toast the new year.

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties

Well known for being the perfect accompaniment to haggis, neeps (Scottish for parsnips) and tatties (Scottish for potato) complete the traditional Hogmanay meal.

IrnBru’s advertising slogans used to be ‘Scotland’s other National Drink’, referring to whisky, and ‘Made in Scotland from girders’, a reference to the rusty colour of the drink; though the closest one can come to substantiating this claim is the 0.002% ammonium ferric citrate listed in the ingredients.

See in The New Year with Some Clean Scottish Humour 

It was a bitterly cold day on the golf course and the caddy was expecting a large tip from his rich Scottish client. As they neared the clubhouse, the caddy heard the words he was longing to hear, ‘This is for a hot glass of whisky.’ He held out his hand and a sugar cube was placed in it. 

An American entered a bar and stood beside a Scotsman ‘Where are you from, pal?’ asked the Scotsman, after they’d chatted for a while. ‘I’m from the finest country in the whole wide world,’ said the American. ‘Are you?’ said the other. ‘You have a very funny accent for a Scotsman.’ 

Some say the old ones are best.  You can make up your own mind with these short clean Scottish jokes

  • What do you call the Scottish dentist? …………………………… Phil McCavity.
  • Did you hear about the Scotsman who washed his kilt?…………. He couldn’t do a fling with it.
  • Hear about the skeleton that wore a kilt? ………………………… It was Boney Prince Charlie.
  • How do you know if a Scotsman is left-handed? He keeps all his money in his right-hand pocket.
  • How do you get a Scotsman to climb onto the roof of his home? Tell him that the drinks are on the house.
  • A Scotsman went to England for the weekend. He took a clean shirt and a twenty pound note with him. When he arrived home he hadn’t changed either of them.

Take care and hopefully we shall all have a better year in 2021

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 dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne

Kindest Regards

Michelle O’Donnell

Branch Manager

17 Elmbank Street


G2 4PB

0141 221 3990

Registration number LARN1903009

VAT : 174415411


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