Hogmanay in the Auld Country
Here in the Highlands we are all crawling out from under rocks after the celebration of New Year or "Hogmanay" as it is called over here.
Scotland celebrates Hogmanay with much greater gusto than Christmas. No one seems to know the origin of the word Hogmanay but it is entrenched in our culture.
Traditionally, it is a time of calling a truce on all petty feuds as everyone goes out and visits their neighbours to wish them a "Guid (good) New Year".
When embarking on this activity it is essential to bring with you some coal, silver, cake and Whisky to bestow heat, wealth, food and good spirits upon every household you visit.
This process can last for a couple of days and even up to a week in some of the more remote areas due to the distances involved.
I recall having to take time off from the revelries to come back home to feed the cattle, after all they don't know it's a holiday and want their food, which is a fine reminder of how "real life" continues despite our human attempts to ignore nature.
Apart from anything else, if the cattle weren't fed on time they would make such a noise that everyone in the area would know that you hadn't fed them which is a sort of agricultural sin.
I look forward to when the next burst of inspiration takes me and I bring you some more thoughts from the "Auld Country".
-A the G
From I, Me, Moi.