Dec 31, 2010


Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner. It is normally only the start of a celebration which lasts through the night until the morning of New Year's Day, or, in some cases, 2 January which is a Scottish Bank Holiday. Literally translated it means "gift."

There are many customs associated with Hogmanay. The most widespread 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 neighbor and often involved the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt, coal, shortbread, whiskey, and fruit cake, intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. Food and drink are then given to the guests. This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning and well into the next day. The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year.