Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hogmanay -A Nae Year

It's time to celebrate Hogmanay, the Scottish version of New Year's . This is the time when children go from house to house and ask for small presents. it's also the time to take a wee nip of whiskey to toast the New Year's and ring out the old. Shortbread is served as well along with other traditional foods.

The Scottish run high with their traditions and Hogmanay is a great example of that. it's a leftover of the Viking celebration of the shortest day of the year . Christmas was really not a big holiday until the 1950's . New Year's was the time for feasting and merriment (and the Scots know how to rock a holiday). There was always a toast for the first footers or the first people to cross over your doorstep in the New Year. A handsome dark hand man crossing the threshold meant good luck. He would be promptly given a dram to get down along with some shortbread and a black bun, (a fruitcake wrapped in puff pastry). Guests would also settle down to the Scottish version of bubble and squeak or rumbledethumps. This was a fry up of cabbage , kale turnips and mashed potatoes. This could be served with fine Scottish salmon.

The Scots know how to do a New Year's celebration justice. They welcome in the New Year with open arms, good whiskey and good food.Being part Scottish myself (my Dad's ancestors left Inverness in 1745 after the Battle of Culloden Field) I'll try to do my part to ring in 2009.

A good New Year to all my readers here. Think of Robert Burns (who is a distant cousin of mine) tonight when the clock strikes twelve.

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