Happy Hogmanay!

New Year’s Eve is fast approaching! In the 2000 census, over 9 million people reported Scottish or Scots-Irish ancestry, and many of our year end celebrations derive from old Scottish traditions like Hogmanay.

Seven Trees Farm

In Scotland New Years is a major celebration quite unlike any place else. The tradition stems from the area’s ancient deep winter sun and fire worship traditions, which involved a fire ceremony. These days celebrating still includes lighting of New Year fires, torch light processions, and even fireball swinging.Image: Source

Hogmanay’s origins date back to pagan rituals that marked the time of the winter solstice. Roman celebrations of the hedonistic winter festival of Saturnalia and Viking celebrations of Yule (the origin of the twelve days of Christmas) contributed to celebrations in Scotland around the new year. These celebrations and other ceremonies evolved over the centuries to become the Hogmanay holiday celebrated in Scotland today.

For many centuries in Scotland, Hogmanay was a far more important holiday than Christmas. Historians suggest this may have been a result of the Protestant Reformation after which Christmas, and its close ties to the…

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