Toasts and Graces
" A guid New Year to ane an' a' and mony may ye see."
Which translates to English from Scots as A good New Year to one and all, and many may you see.
" Lang may yer lum reek!"
Which means long may your chimney smoke and originated when people had coal fires and if the chimney was smoking it meant that you could afford coal and keep warm.
the old traditions still live on. Thousands of people gather
together in Edinburgh,
in the George Square in Glasgow,
and in various villages and towns up and down the country to
welcome in the New Year. In their homes too, many people abandon
the vacuum cleaner and sweep the floor, so that the Auld Year
is swept out just as the New Year is welcomed in.
the first stroke of twelve on the clock, the assembled party
wish each other a Happy New Year, most often with a kiss or
a hug, and a toast is drunk. Relatives and friends call on each
other, in person or
by telephone, throughout the early hours of the morning and
during the first few days of the New Year.
your ‘first foot’ (your first visitor after midnight)
should be a tall, dark man. When you ‘first foot’
somebody, that is to visit them for the first time in the first
few weeks of the New Year, it is customary to take some shortbread,
or a lump of coal, some tea or whisky, or some other token of
goodwill. Black bun and
whisky cake are served
in abundance with tea or whisky.
Lang Syne is traditionally sung after the bells have rung
and everybody has been wished a Happy New Year.
Little Book of Scottish Quotations
Hogmanay and Halloween
A pocket-sized guide to the many varied Scottish celebrations
and festivals, both famous and lesser-known, from the Orkneys
in the north to the borders in the south. Haggis
is a traditional dish for Burns night celebrations and more.
Halloween has been a major festival in Scotland for years. Hogmanay
is one of the most important Scottish traditions ever.
I remember, I remember
Nothing further after that,
But I wakened in the morning
On an alien lobby mat;
And I felt not unpersuaded
(Though my reasons were not clear)
That I'd spent a Merry Christmas
And a Prosperous New Year.
By George Fletcher, M.D.