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.
I got this from a Facebook post and don’t know if any of it is true but these are sure funny :)
UPDATE: A bit more digging reveals the source is http://www.wanderlust.co.uk/magazine/news/20-astonishing-holiday-complaints-thomas-cook-abta
THESE ARE ACTUAL COMPLAINTS RECEIVED BY “THOMAS COOK VACATIONS” FROM DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS:
1. “I think it should be explained in the brochure that the local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.”
2. “It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during ‘siesta’ time – this should be banned.”
3. “On my holiday to Goa in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food at all.”
4. “We booked an excursion to a water park but no-one told us we had to bring our swimming costumes and towels.”
5. A tourist at a top African Game Lodge over looking a water hole, who spotted a visibly aroused elephant, complained that the sight of this rampant beast ruined his honeymoon by making him feel “inadequate”.
6. A woman threatened to call police after claiming that she’d been locked in by staff. When in fact, she had mistaken the “do not disturb” sign on the back of the door as a warning to remain in the room.
7. “The beach was too sandy.”
8. “We found the sand was not like the sand in the brochure.Your brochure shows the sand as yellow but it was white.”
9. A guest at a Novotel in Australia complained his soup was too thick and strong. He was inadvertently slurping the gravy at the time.
10. “Topless sunbathing on the beach should be banned. The holiday was ruined as my husband spent all day looking at other women.”
11. “We bought ‘Ray-Ban’ sunglasses for five Euros from a street trader, only to find out they were fake.”
12. “No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.”
13. “It took us nine hours to fly home from Jamaica to England it only took the Americans three hours to get home.”
14. “I compared the size of our one-bedroom apartment to our friends’ three-bedroom apartment and ours was significantly smaller..”
15. “The brochure stated: ‘No hairdressers at the accommodation’. We’re trainee hairdressers – will we be OK staying there?”
16. “There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad.”
17. “We had to queue outside with no air conditioning.”
18. “It is your duty as a tour operator to advise us of noisy or unruly guests before we travel.”
19. “I was bitten by a mosquito, no-one said they could bite.”
20. “My fiancé and I booked a twin-bedded room but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant. This would not have happened if you had put us in the room that we booked.”
Travel editor Peter Greenberg solves traveler disputes and offers tips on how to travel smartly this holiday season.