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Re: New Year

Dear Margaret

For those who do not know the customs around Hogmanay.

The English have traditionally had a  Christmas celebration,  until
recently the Scots  waited and celebrated the  Old Year/ New Years night it
is called Hogmanay. For the first half of the Twentieth Century most Scots
worked over Christmas.
It is thought that the reason for the Scot's rejection of Christmas has is
origins in the Protestant Reformation (Sixteenth Century), which portrayed
Christmas as a "Popish" or "Catholic" celebration and therefore had to be

Confusion and Hogmanay  go hand in hand.. Scots did not always speak Scots
English. The two main languages .were  Gaelic in the North and Islands and
Old Scots, which was the language of the Lowland Scots. Somewhat like  old
English, but very definitely different. The two languages could be described
perhaps, as cousins. (It was only with the Union of the two countries that
Old Scots began to make way for English. This was an  attempt by the London
government to dilute the Scottish culture and identity.

There are several possibilities as to the origin of the word " Hogmanay ":
Perhaps from the Anglo-Saxon "Haleg Monath", which means Holy Month.
Maybe from the Gaelic "oge maidne", which means New Morning
Possibly from  Old French word meaning "gift" as it is customary to give
gifts at this time
Conceivably from the ancient Scottish accounting term "Hog Money"

Hogmanay was and is  important to the Scots. For years it was customary to
give gifts to friends and relatives. There is often the firing of canon
(sometimes at the English sometimes at  the  friends and relatives), and the
sounding of ship's sirens to indicate Midnight (In Scotland you are never
that far from the sea). Tradition causes you to leave your  house and visit
(or "first foot") your acquaintances. You should take some gifts with you.
Whisky, a lump of coal or some type of food. (Oatcakes, black bun or
shortbread, are the tradition depending on the region). The stay at homes
hope that the first person to visit them will be tall, dark and
handsome. (This is thought to be a throwback to Viking days when blond
outlanders arriving on your doorstep usually meant discomfort. such as
losing your goods,  house, wife or life)

High in the misty Highlands
Out by the purple islands,
Brave are the hearts that beat
Beneath Scottish skies.
Wild are the winds to meet you,
Staunch are the friends that greet you,
Kind as the love that shines from fair maidens' eyes.

Far off in sunlit places
Sad are the Scottish faces,
Yearning to feel the kiss
Of sweet Scottish rain.
Where the tropics are beaming
Love sets the heart a-dreaming,
Longing and dreaming for the hameland again.
the Brave" anonymous

If you are in the land of Oz or anywhere in the world there is no Scot quite
as the Scot abroad the blood runs strong, my Bonnie Lass, all the best to
you and yours

-----Original Message-----
From: Margaret Stokes <milamba@optushome.com.au>

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