Origin of Hogmanay
Words nearby Hogmanay
MORE ABOUT HOGMANAY
What is Hogmanay?
Hogmanay is the Scottish term for New Year’s Eve.
In Scotland, Hogmanay festivities often begin well before the day and in some places consist of several days of events, such as parades and nighttime processions, street parties, bonfires, and music and dance gatherings known as ceilidhs. For some, the celebration of Hogmanay rivals that of Christmas.
The holiday is associated with a number of customs, including the so-called first-foot traditions. In particular, according to Hogmanay tradition, a dark-haired man crossing the threshold of a house at midnight will bring good luck.
The word can also refer to a gift given on Hogmanay. When used in this sense, it’s often lowercase (hogmanay).
When is Hogmanay?
Hogmanay takes place on December 31—New Year’s Eve. In some places, they observe the day based on the Julian Calendar, celebrating it on January 11.
More information and context on Hogmanay
Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last night of the year. The origin of the word is uncertain, but it may come from the Norman French hoguinane, from Old French aguillanneuf, meaning “the last day of the year.”
The observance of Hogmanay has a long history in Scotland that goes back many centuries and is likely related to ancient celebrations of the winter solstice. Hogmanay is thought to have gained such popularity in Scotland due in part to the prohibition of the celebration of Christmas by Protestant leaders in the 1600s. Christmas didn’t become a public holiday in Scotland until the 1950s.
Like many New Year’s traditions, some Hogmanay traditions focus on being rid of the old year and welcoming the new, with activities such as cleaning the house or settling debts. One Hogmanay tradition used in New Year’s Eve celebrations outside of Scotland is singing the Scots folk song Auld Lang Syne.
What are some terms that often get used in discussing Hogmanay?
How is Hogmanay discussed in real life?
Hogmanay is celebrated in Scotland, but many of its traditions are similar to New Year’s Eve traditions in other places.
We were just chatting about this at work, Hogmanay or New Years Eve?
(FYI – I'm very much about the Hogmanay)
— GREIGSY 🎙️📻 (@Greigsy) December 14, 2021
Before Twitter and the Anglocentric Scottish establishment get totally obsessed by the English Christmas faerys, just a reminder that Hogmanay and the New Year and is the normal Scottish time for marking the turn of winter.
— Gavin Roberts (@Roberts56Gavin) December 6, 2021
— Lost in Food (@lostinf00d) December 3, 2021
Try using Hogmanay!
True or False?
According to Hogmanay tradition, a dark-haired man crossing the threshold of a house at midnight will bring good luck.
How to use Hogmanay in a sentence
Only two Jocks had got out and kept their Hogmanay elsewhere and quite elsehow—a creditably small proportion out of forty men.Non-combatants and Others|Rose Macaulay
On the night of Hogmanay, at about half-past ten, the regiment assembles in the barrack square.Anecdotes of the Great War|Carleton Britton Case
Each child gets a quadrant of oat-cake (sometimes with cheese), and this is called the “Hogmanay.”Christmas in Ritual and Tradition, Christian and Pagan|Clement A. Miles
A number of young men of the clan were invited by their chief to pass Hogmanay night in his castle at Dunvegan.Gairloch In North-West Ross-Shire|John H. Dixon, F.S.A. Scot
Dec. 31—Made preparation to keep Hogmanay, inviting our two neighbors.
British Dictionary definitions for Hogmanay
- New Year's Eve in Scotland
- (as modifier)a Hogmanay party See also first-foot