In Scotland on the 31st of December we celebrate Hogmanay!
Hogmanay is the Scottish word for New Year’s Eve. We have many different new year traditions!
In many Scottish cities, the Hogmanay celebrations start on the 30th of December with a torchlight procession.
In the evening of the 31st, all the family gathers together to have a meal. Traditionally, the house must be clean and tidy (even the insides of the kitchen cupboards!); and all debts must be paid. This is so that we start the new year well!
To finish the night, many people go to a traditional party called a ceilidh. There’s lots of Scottish folk music and everybody dances. It’s a great night!
On the 1st of January; New Year’s Day, it’s very difficult to wake up, so why not go for a refreshing “dook” in the river?
We have an expression in Scots: “Lang may yer lum reek!” Literally, it means “May your chimney always be smoky”, and we use it to wish our friends and family warmth and happiness for the year. So, lang may yer lum reek!
On the last day of the year we celebrate the end of a year and the beginning of another! At midnight there is a countdown – ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one….. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Everyone sings a Scottish song called Auld Lang Syne that is originally a poem by a Scottish man called Robert Burns. The words ‘Auld Lang Syne’ translates from an old Scottish dialect to ‘Old Long Since’. The song is about love and friendship!
Everybody stands in a big circle, crosses their arms, hold hands with the next person and sings….
‘Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind,
Should auld acquaintance be forgot;
For auld lang syne’
On the 1st January lots of people make New Year Resolutions. This is a list of promises to oneself for the New Year. The New Year is a fresh start!
In Scotland, we celebrate our national day on the 30th of November – Saint Andrew’s Day!
Legends tell us that Saint Andrew created the Scottish flag – a white cross on a blue background. The blue backgroud represents the sky, and the white cross is the clouds.
(The orange text is a regional Scottish language called Gàidhlig)
Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, but Saint Andrew’s Day is not a religious celebration. It’s a day where we celebrate Scottish culture, food, music, clothes and any other Scottish thing you can think of!
On the 30th of November, lots of men wear kilts. It’s a tradition!
We eat a traditional Scottish dinner with the family – haggis, neeps and tatties. Neeps is a Scottish word for turnip and tatties are potatoes.
And then we go to a cèilidh, a traditional party where we sing, dance, and listen to Scottish folk music.
It’s lots of fun! Happy Saint Andrew’s Day, everyone!