Happy Hogmanay!!! Happy New Year!

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In two more days, we will be ringing in the new year, welcoming 2015.

As with most special events and holidays, celebrations around the world vary depending on the culture.

Hogmanay-Scotland

Hogmanay is celebrated on New Year’s Eve, every
year, usually in a most exuberant fashion in
Scotland as revellers take to the streets to see in the New Year.

Celebrations start in the early evening and reach a crescendo by
midnight. Minutes before the start of new year, alone piper plays, bells chime at the turn of
midnight, lots of kissing, and everyone sings Auld Lang Syne.

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Elsewhere in Scotland, particularly in more
remote parts, customary first footing and
Scottish dances, or ceilidhs (pronounced
“kayli”), take place. For centuries, fire
ceremonies — torch-light processions, fireball
swinging and lighting of New Year fires — played
an important part in the Hogmanay celebrations. And they still do.

Lets not forget about First Footing!

Traditionally, it has believed that your new year will be a prosperous
one if, at the stroke of midnight, a “tall, dark stranger” appears at your door with a lump of
coal for the fire, or a cake or coin. In exchange, you offered him food, wine or a wee
dram of whisky, or the traditional Het Pint, which is a combination of ale, nutmeg and whisky.
It’s been suggested that the fear associated with blond strangers arose from the memory of
blond-haired Viking’s invasions and pillaging Scotland circa 4th to 12th centuries. What’s more a red-haired first footer is said to bring bad luck.
In many parts of Scotland gifts or “Hogmanays” are exchanged after the turn of midnight. Because the celebration of Christmas was banned for many centuries in Scotland, Hogmanay because the primary way to welcome the new year and celebrate the winter solstice.

The first Monday of the New Year is Hansel ( also spelled handsel)
Monday, traditionally the day on which gifts were
exchanged in Scotland.  The “handsel” refers to small tips and gifts of money that it was
customary to give to servants and the needy at the beginning of the first
working week of a new year. In this respect it is somewhat similar to Boxing Day. The word handsel is  also believed to be related to Old Norse handsal, s promise sealed with a handshake

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About B.J. Scott

With a passion for history and romance, I always have several exciting works in progress. Each manuscript offers a blend of passion, adventure and where appropriate, a dab of comic relief. Carefully researched historical facts are woven into the storyline, providing a backdrop from which steamy romance, gripping plots and vivid characters—dashing alpha heroes and resourceful, beguiling heroines you can’t help but admire—spring to life. I also write contemporary, paranormal, time travel and romantic suspense. After several years in the nursing and child and youth work fields, I met and married my knight in shinning armor and he whisked me away to his castle by the sea. Actually, it is a century old home in a small town in SW Ontario, Canada, on the shore of Lake Erie, where we reside with our four dogs and a cat. While born in Canada, my ancestors were from Scotland, Ireland and England. Perhaps the reason for my fascination with anything Celtic. In the fourth grade, I discovered the work of C.S Lewis, and was hooked on books. While I dabbled in writing for many years, I began to pursue my writing dream in earnest when I completed the first book in my Fraser Brother Trilogy, Highland Legacy. Like all authors the road to publication was not smooth and there is always something new to learn. When I got my first contract, I was thrilled and grateful to my husband, family and friends for their support. One book spawned three and the Trilogy was born. Thanks to the readers. Without you there would be no need for authors or new books. When I am not writing, working at my childcare job or on my small business making had braided Celtic jewelry, Beaded book thongs and assorted other swag and gift idea, you will find me reading, camping or antique hunting. I am a PAN member of Romance Writers of America, World Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, Savvy Authors and several writer critique groups. I am also a proud member of the Clan Scott Society
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2 Responses to Happy Hogmanay!!! Happy New Year!

  1. thank you for that bit of history , hope you have a very HAPPY NEW YEAR

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