Scottish traditions and tales
Celebrate Hogmanay in style at The Glasshouse Hotel Edinburgh.
In the late 18th century, it was Scottish poet Robert Burns, famously known as the Bard of Ayrshire, who immortalised his poem Auld Lang Syne. These verses then evolved into a song, which became popular during the Hogmanay endof-year celebrations. As traditions dictate, the celebrations involved ‘first-footing’, or being the first to visit a friend or relative’s home after midnight, bearing gifts such as shortbread, whisky and black buns, with merriment lasting long into the night. It was thought that the first visitor to a home during that time would ideally be a dark-haired male, as a blond stranger was likely to be a Viking invader.
The lighting of bonfires with smoking sticks wrapped in animal hide has for centuries been symbolic of the occasion; one deeply rooted in Scotland’s customs and way of life. Considered a symbol of purification and instrumental in warding off negative energies, these torches are known as Hogmanays.
In the same vein as the practice of trick or treat during Halloween, groups of boys would traverse their Highland locales, wearing sheepskin, while repeating a rhyme in Gaelic. Residents in the homes they visit would then pile these youths with gifts of bannock, a delicious variety of fruit bun.
During Hogmanay, the element of fire has a crucial role to play. In towns such as Stonehaven, near Aberdeen, giant flame balls are swung around on poles, signifying the energies of the sun triumphing over darkness. In Edinburgh, the annual Torchlight Procession creates a river of fire with blazing torches.
The Glasshouse Hotel Edinburgh celebrates Hogmanay in style. The once-a-year event comprises a champagne reception, a fivecourse dinner with exquisite wine pairing at The Brasserie, a ceilidh at The Calton Suite, located in a setting unique to the hotel – the city’s only two-acre rooftop garden. This is the perfect vantage point to enjoy a flute of champagne, to catch the panoramic fireworks display from Calton Hill and to imbibe the timeless Hogmanay spirit.
For more information, please visit www.theglasshousehotel.co.uk
THE LIGHTING OF BONFIRES WITH SMOKING STICKS WRAPPED IN ANIMAL HIDE HAS FOR CENTURIES BEEN SYMBOLIC OF THE OCCASION.