It’s time to bid farewell to 2017 (or good readance, either / or) and warmly welcome 2018. Undoubtedly this would mean partying, fireworks and celebrations all over the world, and it is fair to say that Scotland’s hogmanay festivities are the most lively and lively you will find anywhere. In fact, it wasn’t long before it was considered a major end-of-year holiday for most Scots, rather than Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. With this in mind, here are some words and phrases that have become part of the way to bring the country into the new year.


We will start by finally thinking about December 31. The Collins English Dictionary defines Hogman as “New Year’s Eve in Scotland and the celebrations that take place there at that time”.

There is much debate as to where the name “Hogmanay” originally came from: Scholars have put forward all sorts of theories, claiming that it may have its roots in Scots, Gaelic, French or Norse. Collins suggests that it may be derived from the Norman French word hoguinen, which was traditionally used on the last day of the year and on that day for requesting and exchanging gifts.

While this is only a possible derivation, it certainly seems to be associated with a practice that was once widespread in Scotland: in the past, a common Hogman custom involved groups of children visiting their neighbors’ homes. Sometimes in costume, and asking for sweets or as fruit treats. In turn, they were often expected to recite or sing a rhyme to entertain their potential benefactors. So if kids start bothering you for more selection box gifts, let them know they need to warm up their vocal ragas first.

First leg

The practice of first notch may be familiar to many in modern-day Scotland and northern England. Collins describes First-Foot (or First-Footer) as “the first person to enter a house in the New Year”, and their journey is usually associated with good or bad luck – first-foot. Factors determining the physical texture of and the gifts they bring into the home.

Traditional gifts include a black bun, a lump of coal, or a bottle of whiskey (symbols of food, warmth and happiness). As far as looks are concerned, any householder looking for good luck ideally wants to see a long, dark haired person on the doorstep – imagine Gerard Butler appearing at the door with a strange gift barrier, And you are on the right track.

A man or woman with white hair is considered ominous; It’s a superstition that can go back to Britain’s Viking invasions, and a time where white-haired visitors were probably viewed with suspicion and disbelief.

Old Lang Cine

Probably a candidate for the most famous song that no one can ever remember – well, maybe beyond the first few verses – but no one denies the lasting appeal of this New Year’s anthem.

Although it is most closely associated with Robert Burns, versions of Old Lang Sin (literally “old long”, or “many years ago”) were in print before Burns took it, for the first time around Published in Scots Musical 220 years ago. Museum Collection. Burns’ own story was that he first met Old Lang Sin after being sung by an old man – we will never know for sure who he was, or even if he existed. , But the song he sang one night at Bard’s hearing has certainly become world famous.

Auld Lang Syne is inextricably linked with New Year’s celebrations; Its entry in the Collins English Dictionary states that it is “a Scottish song about friendship that is traditionally sung as a strike of clocks on New Year’s Eve”. While it is unlikely that Burns specifically set out to write a Hogmanian number one, the subjects of his fellowship and reflection have led many to consider it a fitting tribute to the end of a year and the beginning of a new one. Is considered.

Helly-Aa above

Okay, so it’s not strictly New Year’s Eve tradition, but up-heli-aa is a sure way (if you haven’t been punished yet, you’ll finish the January blues in a minute).

Collins’ entry for Up-Haley-AA describes it as “a Midwinter Festival held in January in Shetland”; Originally a fire festival, but now a celebration of Shetland’s Norse heritage, including the formal burning of a newly built Viking ship. ”

The festivities include Viking costume (guiding) geyser torch processions, led by Geiser Jarl (Jarl), which culminates in the burning of a galley built to resemble a Viking long ship. The festival is a bright, vibrant tribute to Shetland’s Norse Link, and you’ll be forgiven for thinking it goes all the way back to the Viking era – in fact, the first celebration took place in the late 1800s.

Collins uses “up-heli-aa” as a compound of the word “up” (meaning something ending) and the Scots word “holiday”, meaning “holiday”.

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