Human calendar


New Year in Scotland, London and New York


Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Scotland:

Fireworks @ Edinburgh Hogmanay
Creative Commons License photo credit: tony_s2008


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hogmanay (pronounced IPA: [?h??m??ne?] —) is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner. It is, however, normally only the start of a celebration which lasts through the night until the morning of New Year’s Day (1 January) or, in some cases, 2 January which is a Scottish Bank Holiday.


There are many customs, both national and local, associated with Hogmanay. The most widespread national custom is the practice of ‘first-footing‘ which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt (less common today), coal, shortbread, whisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake) intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. Food and drink (as the gifts) are then given to the guests. This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning and well into the next day (although modern days see people visiting houses until 3 January). The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year.

« Auld Lang Syne »: people sing this song to say goodbye to the past year.

The Hogmanay custom of singing « Auld Lang Syne » has become common in many countries. « Auld Lang Syne » is a traditional poem reinterpreted by Robert Burns, which was later set to music. It is now common for this to be sung in a circle of linked arms that are crossed over one another as the clock strikes midnight for New Year’s Day, although in Scotland the traditional practice is to cross arms only for the last verse.

More information on Wikipedia.

Among the many versions of « Auld Lang Syne », I have chosen a very traditional version sung by a Scottish singer: Dougie MacLean.


After Scotland, let’s go to Britain to watch the spectacular London fireworks on the London Eye:


New Year’s Day celebrations in New York with the traditional ball drop on Times Square:


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