Auld Lang Syne

new year’s eve is such a strange tradition — this way of staying up to usher in what for any other day would be just another day. But, apparently we humans have been doing this for centuries so who am I to part with tradition.

c and I don’t go out on new year’s eve and we’ve always had a tough time convincing friends that they would want to come out somewhere with us (even when we offer a comfy place to stay overnight). so, over the years c and I have made our own fun on new year’s eve: enjoying a evening of hors d’oeuvres, champagne and dancing in the kitchen. c is a very good dj. we’re usually asleep by five minutes after midnight though.

since visiting scotland, i have learned that edinburgh is home to Hogmanay (hog-mah-NAY), a rousing Scottish new year’s celebration, making it one of the best places in the world to celebrate new year’s eve. Here’s a description from infoplease.com:

“One of the traditions of hogmanay is “first-footing.” Shortly after midnight on New Year’s eve, neighbors pay visits to each other and impart New Year’s wishes. Traditionally, First foots used to bring along a gift of coal for the fire, or shortbread. It is considered especially lucky if a tall, dark, and handsome man is the first to enter your house after the new year is rung in. The Edinburgh Hogmanay celebration is the largest in the country, and consists of an all-night street party.”

I can tell you that after visiting Edinburgh, this is most likely one hell of a good party.

but this year though I feel as though c and I have already had a new year’s eve moment. while we were in Scotland, we took a tour of the highlands and the tour guide/driver offered some history and highlights of his country. of course, he spoke about the Scottish song we all sing on new year’s eve: “auld lang syne”, written by the Scottish poet Robert burns. our passionately patriotic scotsman guide/driver sang the song in in his thick brogue and spoke of the true meaning of the words, telling us that the song asks whether old friends and times will be forgotten and promises to remember people of the past with fondness. then he encouraged us all to sing with him.

as the sun was setting, our little tour bus filled with twelve belgins, two Argentinians and we two americans wound our way from the Scottish countryside back to Edinburgh, singing a soulful version of “auld lang syne”. It was a moment to remember with fondness.

“For auld lang syne, we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet.”

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Filed under family, history, Love, New Year, travel

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