Kilt Up for Hogmanay!
In Scottish culture, Hogmanay is the word for “last day of the year,” and it is also the name of the celebration of the New Year that follows. The Hogmanay celebration is a huge event, and it is a blend of the Norse winter solstice while also being a part of the Celtic fire festival, all merged into one. The Vikings brought over their celebration, and it has since been melded into Scottish culture. There is a huge Hogmanay celebration that takes place in Edinburgh, but it is possible that you can hold your own in your home.
Not only is Hogmanay a time to drink and be merry, but it also comes with a number of traditions. Before the Hogmanay party even starts, it requires a ritual called “redding the house.” By redding the house, you are essentially performing spring cleaning, but it is more of a cleaning to cleanse the past year you have lived in your home to get it ready for not only your Hogmanay but the new year that awaits.
When midnight comes, there is another tradition called First Footing. This is a practice of someone becoming the first person to step over your threshold to bring in the new year and it is considered a good luck ritual. Usually, the person that performs this task is a tall, kilted man, but the visiting of friends crossing thresholds can go on for hours. It can even go into the next month as friends and family stop by to say hello and wish you luck for the new year. Gifts that hold symbolic importance can also be given during this time, including shortbread, salt, whiskey, coal, and black buns.
Fire is a big part of it all, and it comes from Celtic traditions that celebrate Samhain. There are fireball parades and dances, and the parades often involve swinging homemade fireballs around your head while walking through the streets. When the ceremony has ended, whatever fireballs are still burning are then cast into the harbor ceremoniously.
And while you are participating in all of these Hogmanay rituals and traditions, there is one thing to remember: dress the part. You can put on your favorite kilt, whether you want to go all out with a formal Highlands Dress and Prince Charlie jacket or keep it simple with a tweed coat. No matter what you do, there is no better way to be a part of the Hogmanay festivities than to don your kilt and show your Scottish pride.
You can get any sort of kilt you want, but it seems that traditionally, the kilts that are worn are the ones that represent the clan or regional tartan. Get ready for this year’s Hogmanay celebrations by shopping at Scottish Kilt Shop to find the perfect tartan, utility or hybrid kilt for your tastes in the tartan pattern of your choice or according to your heritage. You can have the kilt custom made to ensure the perfect fit for the big celebration.