Welcome to my new blog! As you can see I have changed things up a bit! Out with the old and in with the new! I will continue to write about my travels and other passions; reading, gardening and photography, so nothing is changed in that way. Please look around to see all the new features on this blog. When you click on the words under ‘Featured’ on the Front page the post opens up to read. And you can scroll left or right to see all the ‘Featured Posts.’ There are ‘Pages’ at the top to see what each category is about. Each ‘Page’ will have new categories. I have added a few of the most interesting blog posts from last year so the blog would not start out empty and I would know if everything worked correctly before going ‘live’. If you would like to follow me, there is a section of blue at the bottom of the blog posts where you can sign up! I hope to hear from you in the New Year!
So Happy New Year’s Eve or Happy Hogmanay to the Scottish! What is Hogmanay exactly?
In the Victorian era, New Year’s Eve meant thoroughly cleaning the house to start the new year clean. Ashes, rags, scraps and anything perishable would be removed from the house so that nothing was carried over into the new year. This way the family preserved their good luck and banished the bad. The family would gather into a circle before midnight and at the stroke of midnight the head of the house would open the front door to usher in the new year and then open the back door to let the old year out.
In Scotland, the last day of the year is Hogmanay. A New Year’s tradition in the Scottish family was ‘First-Footing.’ The first visitor to set foot across the entryway threshold (the fierst-footer) after midnight on New Year’s Eve, affected the family’s fortune. The first-footer brought traditional gifts; a coin for financial prosperity, a lump of coal for warmth, a piece of bread or shortbread for food, whiskey for good cheer, and a black bun for flavor in the New Year. No one spoke until the first-footer wished the occupants a Happy New Year. He would be led through the clean home to place the coal on the fire and offer a toast to all that lived there and be allowed to kiss all the women present. Then he would leave through the back door taking all the old year’s troubles with him. The first-footer could be a woman or a man. The women in the home, hoped for a tall, dark and handsome stranger and the men wished for a bare-footed woman with red hair! They were said to bring extra luck!
Now, I do open my front door at midnight on New Year’s Eve because our neighbor plays Auld Lang Syne on his trumpet, from his front porch, for all the neighborhood to enjoy. I have never opened the back door though, but I think I will this year!
For auld lang syne, (for the sake of old times) my dear,
for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
This was a traditional folk song with the words from a poem written by Scotsman, Robert Burns, in 1788. The song calls for the preservation of our oldest, dearest friendships.
It is a time for people to come together and recall past joys and sorrows! Happy Hogmanay to you! I wish you the best in 2017!