Happy New Year! Or Should I Say Happy Hogmanay?

Happy 2018

Wishing you a Happy New Year, or as they say in Scotland, Happy Hogmanay!

BagpiperNew Year’s Eve has long been a popular holiday in Scotland, sometimes more than Christmas, even. According to Wikipedia, one reason for that may date to the Protestant Reformation when some of the more conservative churches refused to celebrate Christmas because of its rather obvious pagan customs, like decorating with greenery and burning the Yule log. (This changed during the Victorian period.)

Hogmanay celebrations include New Year’s Eve parties, with the countdown to midnight and singing of Auld Lang Syne, written by Scottish poet Robert Burns. And what Scottish celebration would be complete without whisky, shortbread and a bagpiper?

gorgeous man

A good choice for the first-foot!

One of the more interesting Hogmany customs is the First-Foot, the notion that the first person to cross the threshold of a home heralded good luck or bad luck. A tall dark-haired man is the most desirable first-foot, who crosses the threshold bearing gifts after midnight. Women and fair-haired men supposedly bring bad luck.

Auld Lang Syne was written by Robert Burns in 1788 and is sung to the tune of an old folk melody. No longer just popular in Scotland, it’s now sung world wide on New Year’s Eve.

Burn’s original words are:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

CHORUS:

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

I hope 2018 is a good year for all us!

Linda

Edinburgh Cityscape with fireworks over The Castle and Balmoral Clock Tower

Costumes, Candy & Spider Webs #MFRWauthor 52-Week #Blog Challenge

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This week’s prompt in the MFRWauthor 52-Week Blog Challenge is My Favorite Holiday, and mine is Halloween.

What’s not to like? You get to decorate the house and/or yard and dress up in a fun costume (if you wish), hand out or eat candy, and socialize with friends and neighbors.

As a child, I loved all the holidays, but Halloween was the only one that let me get dressed up and pretend to be someone I’m not. My earliest costume was Little Red Riding Hood, sewn by my mother. It comprised a red skirt and matching cape, which I wore with a white blouse, and of course, I carried a basket over one arm. I think that might have been my all time favorite.

After that I alternated between a bride costume and a witch costume for a while. Being a witch was way more fun.

gypsy fortune tellerOnce, as an adult, I went to a party dressed as a gypsy woman, only to be asked if I was supposed to me a milk maid! That was a lowering experience, I must say. I couldn’t shake that wholesome look no matter how hard I tried.

Since I visited Harry Potter World back in April, I’m all set for Halloween this year (almost). I have my Ravenclaw robe and my wand; all I need is a witch hat. I’ll be dressing up for the OCCRWA Birthday Bash on Oct. 21. The theme is Victors, Villains & Vixens. Not sure exactly who I’ll be, but I’ll come up with an appropriate persona.

LM at Harry Potter WorldOn Halloween Eve, I’ll be dressed as a Hogwarts professor, and my niece Patty will be in full pirate regalia. She can’t wait. No doubt she’ll have the house decorated with skeletons and spider webs.

What’s your favorite holiday?

Linda

As always, click on the linky list below for more fave holidays in the #MFRWauthor 52-Week Blog Challenge.

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