What are you doing New Year's Eve? Will you be dancing in the streets or watching the ball drop at midnight on Times Square, in the comfort of home!
I may follow the one habit of my Scottish ancestors. There are traditions before midnight such as cleaning the house on December 31st ( taking out the ashes from the fire in the days when coal fires were common).
There is a superstition about clearing debts before “bells at midnight.”
Then after midnight it is traditional to sing Robert Burn’s, “Auld Lang Syne”, a tune that was based on an earlier fragment printed over 80 years before he published his version in 1798.
“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We’ll drink a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne”.
Then welcome friends and strangers, with warm hospitality and a kiss to wish everyone a ‘Guid’ New Year.
The belief is to clear out the vestiges of the old year, have a clean break and welcome in the New Year on a happy note.
“First footing” (that is the “’first foot in the house after midnight) is still common in Scotland to ensure good luck for the house , the first foot should be male, dark (believed to be a throw back to Viking days when blond strangers arriving at your door meant trouble) and they should bring coal, shortbread, salt and whiskey.
“Hand selling” was the custom of gift giving on the first Monday of the New Year but this died out.
Many Scots had to work over Christmas and their winter solstice holiday was at New Year when family and friends gathered for party and exchange gifts, especially for the children.
I can almost hear the violins and smell the whiskey in the dippers when those celebrations long ago and far away come to mind. I can not match them , but I will be thinking about them New Year Eves until my dying days.
Happy New Year! Thanks to you for reading the Brazil Buzz.
I can be reached by phone at 317-286-7352 or drop me a line to 649 South Grant Street, Brownsburg , IN., 46112.