Join the 4 day long New Year celebrations in Edinburgh
Edinburgh's Hogmanay -- or Edinburgh Hogmany as some misspell it -- is the most extravagant and bold New Year's Eve celebrations in Europe. The climax is the Hogmanay Street Party in Princes Street but events last four days altogether and include street theatre, music, dancing and fireworks.
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Hogmanay history and traditions
The origin of the word Hogmanay is quite controversial. Some say that it comes from either from Old Gaelic, Anglo-Saxon, Old French or Flemish so no one really knows.
The funniest explanation of the word's origins comes from John McTaggart's 1824 writings "I think Hog-ma-nay means hug-me-now" which reflects uncannily accurate how Hogmanay is celebrated in modern times: at the stroke of midnight, all revelers at Edinburgh's Hogmanay Street Party start hugging and kissing each other.
"Hug-me-now" also helps you remember how to spell the word describing Edinburgh's New Year's revels: Edinburgh Hogmanay, not Edinburgh Hogmany, nay meaning now in Scots language.
There are many traditions connected to Hogmanay but the most revered one, going back to Viking times, is the First Footing, meaning the first to arrive. The first to set foot in a house after midnight should be a tall, dark stranger, and not fair like the Vikings were, who could bring good luck by bringing a lump of coal, whisky and traditional fruit cake known as black bun.