10 Scottish New Year Traditions

The year is going to wrap up soon and we are just days away to ring in the New Year. It is the most eventful festival of the year and everyone looks forward to welcoming it grandly. This year as well, everyone is excited to say a big hello to the New Year. As we all know every country has got unique New Year traditions that people of the land observe. Most of you people may have an interest in knowing the traditions of different countries across the globe. If you belong to that category here we are going to talk about some interesting Scottish New Year Traditions. These traditions will excite you for sure and will urge you to observe them. Each of the traditions that we are going to talk about come packed with unique advantages.

Scottish New Year Traditions

There are many relevant New Year traditions that Scottish people have. These traditions prevail in modern Scotland even today. In Scotland, New Year’s Eve is called as Hogmanay. It is a big festival in the country that is celebrated with pomp and show by all the peers living there. For Scots, New Year is not just a mere party, but a very huge celebration that they reminisce all the year. The New Year for Scots comes with many traditions rooted deep in the customs. The traditions are what we are going to discuss here about. People from all over the globe attend the New Year celebrations of Scotland. Here we shall be talking about Scotland New Year’s Traditions that will give you a clear insight into the significant celebrations of Scots.

1. Street Partying 

For over 60,000 people gather on the streets in Edinburgh to celebrate the New Year. The party goes on over 6 hours and peers wait for midnight to arrive to watch the breathtaking sight of fireworks. Other than the fireworks one would get to witness various entertaining events like DJs, bands, dancers, street performers, acrobats etc. If you are someone who enjoys watching these events live, do visit Scotland this New Year.

2. Swim the Ice Water

Swimming in the chilled water is one among the popular Scotland New Year’s Traditions that is being followed from ages. On the New Year’s Day people, around one thousand get into the icy water of the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry. While few take a dip and come out, few remain in the water for at least half an hour. This tradition is followed in certain parts of the country as a cure for a hangover. 

3. Fireball Swinging

This tradition involves 50 to 60 heavy men parading through the streets swinging fireballs above their heads following the midnight. People gather on the streets to catch the glimpse of the fireball swinging. The true meaning of this tradition is that the fireballs resemble the sun or a shooting star and they ward off evil spirits by purifying the world.

4. First Footing

In Scotland, the first foot tradition prevails very strongly. The tradition is about who is going to take the first foot into the house after midnight. If the person to take the first step into the house is a dark-haired man, it is predicted as good luck. 

5. Clean the House

It is a very common Scottish Tradition New Year’s Eve to clean sweep the house. As soon as December arrives people schedule the cleaning of their homes and start cleaning to welcome the New Year on a healthy and happy note. It is believed that a dirty house signifies bad luck. Another version of the same belief also says that cleaning the house means clearing the debts. 

6. Auld Land Syne

Scottish bard wrote a popular number back in the 1790s which is still played in every house at New Year’s. The song listens on the New Year’s as a part of the tradition. To bid final adieus to the old year people sing this song at midnight of New Year’s Eve. 

7. Food Traditions

If you are looking for food traditions in Scotland, here it is. To attain good luck, you can check through the Scottish New Year Traditional Food. On the New Year, people exchange gifts as a token of good luck. The foods that are offered as gifts include black bun, whiskey, shortbread etc. The other items include salt and coal that represent health and warmth in the coming year.

8. Bonfire

Scots light bonfire to let go of the old year. They throw a straw figure named “the Auld Wife” that signify the old year into the bonfire. 

9. Gifting Children

In Scotland, children wake up early on New Year’s Day and visit neighbouring houses singing songs. They are gifted with mince pies, coins, apples and sweets for singing songs. The children that fail to do it before noon are tagged fools.

10. Burn Juniper Branches

Scots burn the juniper branches as a part of New Year ritual and carry them throughout the house with a belief that it removes lurking germs and diseases if any.

There are other Scottish New Year Food Traditions that Scots abide by very strictly. The foods they eat as a part of tradition include cordials, cheese, bread, oatcake, currant loaf p, scones etc. 

 Well, those were the Scottish New Year Traditions that Scots love to practice on the New Year to grab luck and prosperity. If you find these traditions interesting do give them practice this New Year. Also, bookmark our website – NEWYEARWIKI.COM and stay tuned to get wind of engrossing New Year articles.

Leave a Comment