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Hogmanay celebration and origins

Hogmanay (Moon of the Hag), Oidhche Challuinn, New Year's Eve, St. Sylvester's Day

Celtic Times

Since the Dark Ages of Britain, in Celtic countries and regions Hogmanay or New Year's Eve has always taken precedence over the Christmas festival. The customs and traditions were practised more so in Scotland than any other Celtic country or region. At this time bonfires were lit and kept in all night to ward off evil spirits and also to encourage the sun to return. This symbolised the burning of the old year out.

Guising

Dressing up as horned animals was a tradition descended from pagan animal god worship. It was customary on New Year's Eve for people to walk the town and houses carrying cow hides and chanting rhymes in Gaelic whilst at the same time beating skins with sticks and striking walls of houses with clubs to keep hostile spirits at bay. 'Guising', the dressing up of people in disguise, is still practised today at festival times and particularly at Halloween.

Divination

As at the Festival of Halloween (Samhain), divination was practised and resolutions were made. It was custom to place a silver coin outside the house on New Year's Eve, if the coin remained there the following day it would indicate a prosperous year ahead. This led to the custom of placing a piece of coal, a piece of bread and a silver sixpence outside the house for good luck and prosperity. The New Year was a focal point for all household tasks and business to be completed.

First Footing

The custom of 'first footing' is now practised worldwide on New Year's Eve. On this day people would visit their friends and relatives. The Old Year would be let out through the back door and the New Year let in through the front door at the chimes of midnight. It was custom that the first person at the New Year to pass over the threshold should be a dark haired male bringing coal or whisky for luck in the New Year.

St. Sylvester

The 31st December is also St. Sylvester's Day. St. Sylvester was Pope from AD314 until he died in Rome on December 31st AD335. According to legend he cured Roman Emperor Constantine I of leprosy.

Ne'er Day

In Scotland, New Years Day was known as Ne'er Day. In 1600 the 1st January officially became New Years Day. This meant that the celebrations which were traditionally practised on 6th January and Celtic quarter days were moved to the 1st January as part of the Yuletide celebrations, in particular the customs of 'first footing' and divination.

Modern Times

The celebration of Hogmanay has now spread worldwide. On New Year's Eve, Scotland, the home of Hogmanay, becomes the focal point of the entire world. As the twelve bells chime, millions of Scots together with billions of people from all parts of the globe welcome the New Year in to the tune of the Robert Burns song 'Auld lang syne' (for old times sake). People gather in public places to celebrate Hogmanay, from the shadows of Edinburgh Castle to George Square in Glasgow and Times Square in New York and Trafalgar Square in London, the Scottish tradition of welcoming in the New Year is passionately celebrated.

Gift Selection

All items can be gift wrapped and sent with a personal message at no extra cost.

For you to celebrate your Hogmanay in Scottish style and toast the New Year at the chime of the 12 bells, why not choose from our range of Scottish Thistle glassware.

Scottish Thistle goblet Water set in Scottish Thistle design Scottish Thistle tumbler Dram glass or shot glass in Scottish Thistle design

For this Hogmanay we are able to offer the popular Alba Thistle design in certain items at a special discount:

Alba Bib and Coasters in Scottish Thistle Design Small Alba Doilies in Scottish Thistle Design Alba Placemats in Scottish Thistle Design Alba Runner in Scottish Thistle Design

Introducing a fabulous new design the Glencoe Thistle available in embroidered cosmetic bag, doilies, table runner, napkins, jewellery purse, jewellery roll, pill box purse, spectacles case and pocket tissue holder.

Jewellery Purse in Glencoe Thistle Design Spectacles Case in Glencoe Thistle Design Pair of Small Doilies in Glencoe Thistle Design Pill Box Purse in Glencoe Thistle Design Pocket Tissue Cover in Glencoe Thistle Design

The Balmoral Thistle design is one of our customer's favourite Scottish Thistle designs. The beautifully embroidered items include table runners, table cloths, jewellery rolls, jewellery purses, pocket tissue covers, spectacles cases and towels. All make lovely gifts for the Hogmanay celebrations.

Green table runner in Balmoral Thistle design White table runner in Balmoral Thistle design Face Cloth and Guest Towel in Balmoral Thistle design Hand Towel in Balmoral Thistle design
Bookmark in Scottish Thistle design Pill box in Scottish Thistle design Pen in Scottish Thistle design Favour or Gift bag in Scottish Thistle design
iPad Sleeve in Fuchsia Check Harris Tweed iPad and Kindle Sleeves by Bertie Girl individually hand crafted and skillfully sewn to a high standard. Produced in the Highlands of Scotland with Harris Tweed woven in the Outer Hebrides. Great gifts for your Hogmanay event. Available in a variety of colours including Fuchsia Check, McLeod tartan, Purple and Red Check. Kindle Sleeve in Purple

Winged Heart design and create handpainted stained glass gifts in the Scottish borders. They are the leading company in the UK for handpainted stained glass gifts. Their range of designs are available in paperweights, photoframes, mirrors, crystal window pendants, static window clings, window roundels and panels. The Scottish Thistle window roundel, Scottish Flowers static window cling and Scottish Thistles and Flowers paperweight are shown below.

Window Roundel in Scottish Thistle design Static Window Cling in Scottish Flowers design  Paperweight in Scottish Thistle and Flowers design

Ideal for Hogmanay celebrations is the red and green Plaid design which is derived from Scottish Tartan. The range is beautifully made and available in placemats, table runners and mantle runners. The range can be matched with the Hem Stitch table cloth and is ideal for those special occasions.

Table runner and table mat in Plaid design Table runner in Plaid design Mantle runner in Plaid design
Table Cloth in Highland Plaid design Table runner in Highland Plaid design Placemat and napkin in Highland Plaid design Spectacles case in Highland Plaid design

Introducing the Highland Plaid design in green and purple. Available in table cloth, table runner, placemats, napkins and spectacles case. This range can also be matched with the Hem Stitch table cloth.

A Happy and Prosperous New Year to all our customers

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Celtic Glass Designs offer a range of stunning hand painted glassware and matching embroidered table linen for all occasions - Birthdays, Corporate and Special Events, Anniversaries, Weddings, Burns Night, Valentine's Day, St Davids Day, St Patricks Day, Mother's Day, Easter Sunday, May Day, Father's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, St. Andrew's Day, Christmas and Hogmanay.

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