Bliadhna Mhath Ùr dhuibh uile! – Happy New Year to you all!
And Happy Hogmanay!
Below are scenes from Hogmanay around Scotland from previous years for you to enjoy. May all your fires burn brightly throughout the year.
Something to think about: Scottish customs of the new year contain messages that can be relevant to how we think about entering 2017. While bonfires celebrate the lengthening of daylight and thus the “return” of the sun, in our own lives, we can use fire to call forth the light and passion within each of us, calling us to be our best selves in the months to come. By our own candles or fires, we can decide what goals for spiritual and personal growth we will set for ourselves, and link ourselves to our heritage and ancestors.
And even the ancient custom of first footing – the belief that a tall, dark, handsome stranger coming to your door the first thing after midnight of the New Year brings good fortune to the household. The idea of first footing is that the first person who comes through your door indicates the character of your New Year. On the one hand, by offering hospitality to the visitor you begin your year with a generosity of spirit. On the other hand, we can consciously choose what we admit through the front door, then open that door with great intention and greet it!
Burning of the Clavie photographs Copyright Anne Burgess/www.geograph.org.uk
A typical Baltimore Gaelic School céilidh and class: