|Cleveland Kiltie Band in the 1970s. Dad is in the last row on the right|
If you want to celebrate a Scottish Hogmanay, you must clean your house on December 31. This is called "Redding the House." Also, all of your bills should be paid before midnight. And then the party begins. The new year is rung in with whisky (Scotch, of course), food, music and fireworks.
At midnight, you join people all over the world singing "Auld Lang Syne". When you sing it this year, remember that it was written by Robert Burns, the Scottish National Poet.
On New Years Day, my father was always in demand as a "First Footer." Scots believe that if the first person in your door on January 1 is a tall dark male, you will be ensured good luck in the new year. The First Footer should bring a small gift, usually whisky or shortbread, and should be offered a glass of whisky in return. Dad had a few select families he would visit early on New Years Day.
On the other hand, if your first visitor is blond, you will be doomed to a year filled with trouble. This belief is probably the result of the long history of invasions by the Vikings, when a blond at your door often offered you the sharp edge of a sword rather than shortbread.
|Me with Mr. Callander, family friend (and piper)|
And we'll sing "Auld Lang Syne," of course.