In Scotland, there are many unique customs associated with the New Year. These form the Scottish celebration Hogmanay—the Scots name for New Year’s Eve. The street party in Princes Street in Edinburgh is one famous example.
There are many customs, both national and local, associated with Hogmanay. The most widespread national custom is the practice of first-footing, which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt (less common today), coal, shortbread, whisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake) intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder. Food and drink (as the gifts) are then given to the guests.
This may go on throughout the early hours of the morning and well into the next day (although modern days see people visiting houses well into the middle of January). The first-foot is supposed to set the luck for the rest of the year. Traditionally, tall, dark men are preferred as the first-foot.
Beinn: is the most common Gaelic word for “mountain”
Coffee americano: (black coffee with 2 shots of espresso)
Chips: French Fries
Dinnae: Don’t. My grandmother and people in the church where I grew up said this all the time. “A dinnae ken” which means “I don’t know”.
Haggis: Haggis is a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, traditionally encased in the animal’s stomach though now often in an artificial casing instead. According to the 2001 English edition of the Larousse Gastronomique: “Although its description is not immediately appealing, haggis has an excellent nutty texture and delicious savoury flavour”.
We have my grandmother’s old cookbook with recipes for haggis, lights, sweetbreads (don’t ask), blood pudding… I never could have made it in the olden days!
We also saw haggis pizza, haggis flavored chips, frozen haggis… We tried none of that.
I was going to put a picture but I couldn’t stomach it (NO pun intended!)
Loch en Eilein: Simply – loch means lake. Eilein means island. So, there’s an island in the lake :)
-ness: a promontory or headland. Loch Ness is a lake with a promontory
-shire: Roughly “county of” Inverness-shire; Perthshire
-strath: a wide river valley, a stretch of relatively flat, fertile land bounded by hills. Strathspey is the River Spey and the valley around it.
Interesting place names:
- Crook of Devon: The name derives from the sudden angle (crook) which the River Devon makes near the village. A village within the parish of Fossoway in Perthshire. It is located about 6 miles southwest of Kinross on the A977 road. Until relatively recently the official name of the village was Fossoway (as evidenced on the war memorial etc.) but this has been usurped by the widely used nickname “crook of devon”.
- Drumnadrochit: It derives from the Scottish Gaelic ‘druim na drochaid’ meaning the ‘Ridge of the Bridge’.
- Firth of Forth: (Scottish Gaelic: Linne Foirthe) is the estuary or firth of Scotland’s River Forth, where it flows into the North Sea, between Fife to the north and Lothian to the south. It was known as Bodotria in Roman times.
- Inverfarigaig: (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Farragaig) is a hamlet at the mouth of the River Farigaig, on the south-east shore of Loch Ness in Inverness-shire, Scottish Highlands and is in the Scottish council area of Highland.
- Kingdom of Fife: (Scottish Gaelic: Fìobha) is a council area and historic county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire. By custom it is widely held to have been one of the major Pictish kingdoms, known as Fib, and is still commonly known as the Kingdom of Fife within Scotland.
- Killiecrankie. I have no idea how it got this name. It sounds sort of like you want to kill the crank but that can’t be right.
Killiecrankie (Gaelic: Coille Chreithnich) is a village in Perth and Kinross, Scotland on the River Garry.
- Loch Faskally: (Scottish Gaelic: Loch Faschoille is a man-made reservoir in Perth and Kinross, Scotland, 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) northwest of Pitlochry.
Playlist of all my Scotland videos plus others of interest: