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What is Hogmanay? And Auld Lang Syne?



Scots/Scottish English word for the last day of the year - the 31st of December in the Gregorian calendar.For Scotland the party is the showpiece of the Christmas season and is followed by two days public holiday to recover from the national hangover,
  • The most widespread national custom is the practice of 'first-footing' which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt (less common today), coalshortbreadwhisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake) intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. 
  • Food and drink (as the gifts) are then given to the guests. This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning and well into the next day (although modern days see people visiting houses well into the middle of January). 
  • The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year. Traditionally, tall dark men are preferred as the first-foot.
Perhaps the most moment in Hogmanay is the singing Auld Lang Syne as the clock strikes midnight. Auld Lang Syne is a traditional poem adapted by Scotland's greatest poet, Robert Burns. Interestingly, the linking of arm while singing, which has been taken up across the world should only occur in the final verse, where the lyrics instruct revellers to do so.

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