The Scots Way to Ring in the New Year

In Scotland, they celebrate New Year’s with Hogmanay. Traditionally, Hogmanay was a fire celebration commemorating the Winter Solstice.
Because I’m a dictionary nerd, I’ll share with you the following definition from The Free Dictionary:
Hogmanay [ˌhɒgməˈneɪ]
n
a. New Year’s Eve in Scotland
b. (as modifier) a Hogmanay party See also first-foot
And if you don’t like the pronunciation guide, it’s pronounced Hog – Many. Like lots of hogs. Hog – Many. Got it? Moving on…
Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city, holds a Hogmanay Festival. A torchlight processional through the city kicks off the three day festival on December 30th. On that night, thousands of people carry torches to create a “river of fire” from the Royal Mile to the Son et Lumiére.
Edinburgh’s Hogmanay 2009 Torchlight Processional
December 31st nighttime festivities include a huge street festival and various outdoor concerts to entertain tens of thousands of revelers in Edinburgh’s City Centre. Or one can opt for The Keilidh, a more traditional Gaelic party with ceilidh dancing similar to what we in the States call Square Dancing.
The Keilidh–Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival
File:New Year Fireworks over Edinburgh Castle - geograph.org.uk - 313502.jpg
At midnight, a magnificent fireworks display erupts in Edinburgh’s nighttime sky to bid farewell to the old year. To welcome in the new, the massive crowd joins voices to sing Scottish poet Robert Burns’ Auld Lang Syne.
Sounds fun doesn’t it?
Bliadhna Mhath Ùr!
Happy New Year!
(Photo courtesy of Mike Pennington via Wikimedia Commons)

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