Hogmanay! Edinburgh’s Wild and Wonderful Way to Bring in the New Year – Featuring, Pigs?

All those who have been fortunate enough to actually experience New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh will be familiar with the word ‘Edinburgh’s Hogmanay’. Everyone otherwise will be wondering what that is known this somewhat strange word is. Does it conjour up images of large pigs?! Happy New Year 2018 Wishes

Well, Hogmanay is quite simply a Scottish word for what other English speaking world calls New Year’s Event!

In comparison to the rest of the United Kingdom, the Scottish traditionally take Hogmanay more seriously (or less critically depending on your point of view! ) than our United kingdom brothers and sisters. Certainly not only do we usually tend to organise extravagant, mania street parties and incredible firework displays, there are also a number of customs attached to the traditional celebration of Hogmanay in Scotland. 

The custom of ‘first-footing’ has existed for hundreds of years. In the event that you happen to be celebrating Hogmanay at home with family and friends, you should head across the streets to your neighbour’s house just after ‘the bells’ (midnight).

If your parents is still compos desmentido after all the dark beer and scotch whisky, they will open the door and you will probably officially be the ‘first foot’ of the New Year.

After enjoying a drink and a chat with your neighbor, you should carry on up the street, chapping on each house to get better results as you go, spending time with your neighbours and wishing them the best of luck for the New Year.

Should your ‘first footer’ happens to be tall, dark and attractive (and carrying a kennel of ale… ), you will consider forward to a year of fortune, love and happiness. Roughly the story goes…

Various Scots choose to bring in the New Yr by attending a ‘ceilidh’ (pronounced – ‘kaylay’). When again, what on soil is that?! Well, Ceilidh is a Scottish Gaelic word for a traditional Scottish dancing party.

Picture a number of hundred Scots in a lengthy hall, half of them wearing long very dresses and the other half wearing kilts and sporting impressive beer-bellies, chuck in a few 100 kilos of Haggis and lashings of potato and turnip, and you have the setting for a traditional Scottish Ceilidh.

In the far end of the hall you will find a string band participating in traditional, fast-paced, Scottish music. It is also the job of the strap to lead the dances by explaining things; although most people learn by giving it a go, making a tonne of mistakes and trampling on a few dozen toes and fingers!

A Ceilidh is a loud, spirited and truly captivating affair, fuelled by the intake of blend calories and the unusual drink or two. Possibly the shy and unclear amidst you couldn’t avoid being caught up by the incredibly sociable atmosphere!

On the other hand, New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh is defined apart from the pretenders to the throne by the strong and quite brilliant Edinburgh’s Hogmanay extravaganza.

Believe it or not, the get together actually commences on the 30th of December with the traditional Torchlight Retraite from The Royal Mile to the top of Calton Hill. Whether you choose to acquire one of the torches (? 6) and take part in the procession, or simply choose to look on as others cut a line of fire through the very heart of the city, it is certainly a heart-warming experience.

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