Hogmanay is what Scots call New Year's Eve - December 31st - the big night that marks the arrival of the new year. Its origins reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Vikings with wild parties in late December.
Hogmanay (no one is sure of the origin of the name) traditions include fireworks and torch-lit processions in the cities and bonfires in the rural areas. "First footing" is still observed: it is believed to be good luck for the first foot over the threshold to be that of a dark-haired stranger bearing a piece of coal, shortbread or whiskey. After the midnight chimes, everyone sings "Auld Lang Syne."Find out more