What are you doing for Hogmanay? - Word of the Week



1: A party to celebrate the New Year.
2: The last day of the year.

We're celebrating Hogmanay by going to a fireworks display and then on to a club!

English has influences from many other European languages, and Hogmanay is a word from Scotland. It means the last day of the year, or 'new year's eve', but you will often hear it called 'old years night' in Scotland.

Hogmanay is also the name of the party that starts on old year's night and carries on into the early hours of the next morning, or the 'wee small hours'. This is one of the highlights of the Scottish calendar, and Scottish residents get an extra day off in the new year to recover!

There are many traditions associated with Hogmanay. It's traditional to sing 'Auld Lang Syne' on the stroke of midnight. Auld Lang Syne is a sentimental song written by famous Scots poet Robert Burns that reflects on old friends you may have lost touch with over the years. In Scotland, people then visit friend's houses with the traditional gift of a lump of coal for the fire. The first person to visit your house in the new year is known as the 'first footer' and will often enjoy a small drink, or 'nip' of whisky.

Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh, organises a massive party for Hogmanay, and it really is a fantastic spectacle. You shouldn't miss the torchlight procession followed by a fantastic fireworks display. You can read more about Edinburgh's plans for Hogmanay on the official Edinburgh Hogmanay Website.

Even if you can't visit for Hogmanay, there's no better place to explore Scotland's unique heritage and culture than from our English School in Edinburgh.

What are you doing for Hogmanay?

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