Origins of The Scottish Hogmanay.

Fireworks for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay
Residents of Scotland mark the arrival of the New Year with particular passion in a holiday they call Hogmanay that draws on their history of Viking invasions, superstition, and ancient pagan rituals.
Hogmanay’s origins date back to pagan rituals that marked the time of the winter solstice.
Roman celebrations of the hedonistic winter festival of Saturnalia and Viking celebrations of Yule (the origin of the twelve days of Christmas) contributed to celebrations in Scotland around the New Year.
These celebrations and other ceremonies evolved over the centuries to become the Hogmanay holiday celebrated in Scotland today. During the Middle Ages, the pre-existing pagan winter festivals were overshadowed by the feasts surrounding Christmas, and the New Year was moved to coincide with Christian holy da
Following the reformation in Scotland, however, celebration of Christmas was discouraged, and so the gift-giving and celebration that accompanied Christmas elsewhere took place at New Year, giving rise to the uniquely Scottish celebration of Hogmanay.
The various local traditions found in Scotland relating to fires also hark back to the ancient past.
In the pagan winter celebrations, fire symbolised the newly resurgent sun coming back to the land, and was believed to ward off evil spirits dwelling in the darkness.
Fires still play a major part in Hogmanay celebrations, with torchlight processions, bonfires and fireworks popular throughout Scotland.
Another custom known as “first footing” dictates that the first person to cross a home’s threshold after midnight on New Year’s Eve will determine the owner’s luck for the New Year.
The ideal visitor bears gifts—preferably whiskey, coal for the fire, small cakes, or a coin—and should be a man with a dark complexion.
Why? The answer goes back to the 8th century, when the presumably fair-haired Vikings invaded and caused mayhem.
via New Year’s Traditions around the World and Their Origins | Ancient Origins

A Christmas Yarn for the Tightarses.

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The Yarn Begins:
An old man in Scotland calls his son in London the day before Christmas Eve and says, “I hate to ruin your day son but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; forty-five years of misery is enough.”
“Dad, what are you talking about?” the son screams.
“We can’t stand the sight of each other any longer” the father says. “We’re sick of each other and I’m sick of talking about this, so you call your sister in Leeds and tell her.”
Frantically, the son calls his sister, who explodes on the phone. “Like hell they’re getting divorced!” she shouts, “I’ll take care of this!”
She calls Scotland immediately, and screams at her father “You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we will both be up there tomorrow.
“Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?” and hangs up.

The old man hangs up his phone and turns to his wife. “That’s Sorted! They’re coming up for Christmas tomorrow and they’re paying their own way.”

Rob Powell

Remote Scotland.

we-capture-the-beauty-of-remote-scottish-landscapes-3__880We are Danka and Peter, amateur photographers and passionate travellers from Slovakia.
We spent the past year in Scotland where we had many opportunities to travel across the country and take photos.
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Mostly we use film cameras, because we consider analog photography more unique and authentic compared to digital photography.
Our photos have been taken at many different places, but most of them have been captured in the Highlands region.
We like this part of Scotland the most, particularly the Glencoe area.
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We were also totally amazed by the Isle of Mull and Isle of Skye.
The whole west coast is absolutely astonishing and has a lot to offer.
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More info: frombusytoeasy.blogspot.sk
See the full article via We Capture The Beauty Of Remote Scottish Landscapes | Bored Panda

The Remote and Misty Island of Skye.

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Photographic Image: Moyan Brenn; Skye.
Shrouded in mist. Drenched with rain. Remote. Forbidding. Intoxicating. Even beautiful.
There are limitless ways to describe the myriad islands off the coast of Scotland, all more superlative than the last.
With 97 inhabited islands, no other country in the United Kingdom has so many offshore territories.
From Skye, to Islay, to the Orkney Islands and the Outer Hebrides, island life is an essential part of the modern Scottish identity.
With so many to choose from, compiling a definitive list of Scotland’s greatest islands would be nigh on impossible.
So we’re not even going to try. Instead, here is a celebration of 10 of these spectacular islands, from the famous, to the famously obscure.
See more of the Scottish Isles via 10 Spectacular, Remote Islands off the Coast of Scotland – Urban Ghosts