On the 31st December each year the whole of Scotland comes alive for the celebration of Hogmanay. It  begins on the last day of the year and continues right through the night until the morning of the 1st January and has sometimes been known to carry on through to the 2nd or even 3rd January. That is some party!

There are many local and national customs associated with Hogmanay but the one most practiced is something called ‘first-footing’. This involves being the first person to put their foot across the threshold of a friend or family’s house and giving symbolic gifts. This is said to bring good luck for the rest of the year.

Central areas of Scotland have a tradition of holding huge parties with lots of singing, dancing, music and drinking! The city of Edinburgh has one of the largest Hogmanay celebrations in the world. The city holds 4 days of celebrations with music, dancing, street theatre, concerts and even a bike duathlon which attracts thousands of people from around the world.

One custom that many people may not know comes from Hogmanay is the tradition of singing the Auld Lang Syne at midnight on the 31st December. It has become common to sing this song in some countries around the world on New Year’s Eve.

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Happy New Year everyone!