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A Scottish Hogmanay

As 2021 draws to an end we thought it would be appropriate to look at some of the unique traditions Scotland has to welcome in the new year.


First Footing

One of the most common Hogmanay traditions is First Footing. After midnight on new year's day, it’s common for family and friends to visit each other's houses to be the first visitor of the new year. Traditionally, dark-haired men were considered good luck as first footers. Small gifts are often shared on new years day such as shortbread and whisky. Steak pie is also a very common meal to be enjoyed amongst friends and family. Showing up empty handed can be considered bad luck so if you're planning on first footing this new years day, remember to bring a tin of shortbread! 


Joining in Hands for Auld Lang Syne

Arguably one of the most well known pieces of work by our national bard, Robert Burns, Auld Lang Syne is a very popular song at the stroke of midnight. The song is sung in Scotland and all over the world to say goodbye to the old year. Burns wrote the song but the melody that we all know was not the one he had in mind for it. Infact, Burns never actually heard the version we hear today as it became popular only after his death in 1796. The tradition is that at the stroke of midnight everyone joins hands and signs Auld Lang Syne (as best as you can because hardly anyone really knows all the words). During the last verse everyone crosses their arms and just like that, you’ve welcomed in the new year.

Happy New Year - MacGregor and MacDuff

Fire at Hogmanay

Fire plays a big role in a Scottish Hogmanay and it’s thought to have come from ancient celtic traditions. Annually there is a torchlight procession through Edinburgh that pays homage to this connection to the past and further north in Stonehaven, strong kilted men swing huge fireballs in a procession up the highstreet to welcome in the new year. This connection to fire at Hogmanay creates some spectacular scenes which are worth a visit if you are ever able to catch any of these events. 


Loony Dooking

Possibly the most aptly named New Years tradition, Loony Dooking is when hundreds of people forfeit their right to stay in bed and nurse their new year's day hangover and instead go for a dip in freezing waters of the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry. The tradition started in 1987 and now draws crowds form all around the world, all eager to be a part of this little bit of Scottish new year's day loonesy. 

Hire a Kilt For New Years - MacGregor and MacDuff


Ceilidhs are popular in Scotland all year round but Hogmanay ceilidhs are something special. Huge numbers of people gather to listen and dance to traditional Scottish music at venues up and down the country. Spending a Hogmanay at a ceilidh is something everyone should do at least once in their life but once you’ve gone once, there will likely be more. 


Redding the house

Redding the house is the Scottish version of spring cleaning and is probably the most sensible new years day tradition on this list. It comes from when people would have open fires in the house and people would clean out the old fire and place a new one. Redding the House also extends to clearing one's debts to start with a fresh slate for the year. 


Whether you decide to go to a ceilidh or go first footing, there’s no better time to get dressed up in a kilt. We have a range of hire outfit options available for Hogmanay and new years day so make sure you check out our website to find out what you’ll be wearing to greet 2022. 

Hogmanay Kilty Hire - MacGregor and MacDuff