Saturday, January 3, 2009

Edinburgh New Years Eve

A guid New Year and mony may ye see.
Happy New Year, and many more may you see.

This is an awesome video of the fireworks in Edinburgh New Years Eve! Its worth the time to watch this! My good friends Mike and Lorraine can see this from their bedroom window! In Scotland New Years Eve is known as Hogmanay! The roots of Hogmanay perhaps reach back to the celebration of the winter solstice among the Norse, as well as incorporating customs from the Gaelic New Year's celebration of Samhain. In Europe, winter solstice evolved into the ancient celebration of Saturnalia, a great Roman winter festival, where people celebrated completely free of restraint and inhibition. The Vikings celebrated Yule, which later contributed to the Twelve Days of Christmas, or the "Daft Days" as they were sometimes called in Scotland. The winter festival went underground with the Protestant Reformation and ensuing years, but re-emerged near the end of the 17th century.

Until the 1960s, Hogmany and Ne'erday (Netherday, New Year's Day) in Scotland took the place of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the rest of the UK. Although Christmas Day held its normal religious nature, the Presbyterian national church, the Church of Scotland viewed Christmas as a decidedly Catholic holiday and after the many changes brought about by the Protestant Reformation (in the 17th century), celebrating Christmas was actively discouraged for over 300 years. As a result Christmas Day was a normal working day in Scotland until the 1960s and even into the 1970s in some areas. The gift-giving, public holidays and feasting associated with mid-winter were held between the 31st of December and the 2nd of January rather than between the 24th and 26th of December.

With the fading of the Church's influence and the introduction of English cultural values via television and immigration, the transition to Christmas feasting was well-nigh complete by the 1980s. However the public holidays associated with Ne'erday and the day after have remained despite the addition of Christmas Day to the public holiday list. A few Scots still celebrate Ne'erday with a special dinner but they are very much in the minority.

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