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Learn about the history of Hogmanay this New Year

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Learn about the history of Hogmanay this New Year Powered By Docstoc
					If you're looking for lively festivals in Europe to attend during the Christmas and New
Year period then you won't need to go too far from home.
  Heading to Scotland to see in the New Year will give you a chance to experience the
legendary Hogmanay celebrations - and you could find the history behind the
festivities just as interesting as the events taking place around you.
  Dating back over 400 years, Hogmanay achieved such important status in Scottish
society in the mid-16th century when celebrating Christmas was forbidden by the
Protestant reformation.
  This ban continued until the 1950s, with many Scots working on Christmas day and
celebrating fully at the end of December.
  As a result, January 2nd is also a bank holiday in Scotland, demonstrating the
prominence of the festivities on the country's calendar.
  Hogmanay tours may teach you about some of the traditions associated with the
festival, including first-footing.
  This sees houses welcome visitors bearing gifts after the bells have struck midnight
on New Year's Eve.
  It was originally believed that a tall, dark stranger should be the one to first-foot a
house and bring it plenty of luck, however, now it is usually friends and family that
visit one another.
  Those receiving the guests will provide food and drink and no doubt continue the
New Year's party.
  But while family gatherings are important at Hogmanay, the large street parties that
take over Scotland's towns and cities are equally special.
  If you head to Scotland at this time of year, you will no doubt be drawn to Edinburgh
and its spectacular New Year's Eve festivities that include a torchlight procession
through the streets, a music concert and a stunning fireworks display.
  But cities such as Glasgow, Aberdeen and Perth can also throw a great party so you
will not be limited when it comes to destinations to visit for Hogmanay.
  Who knows, you may have such a good time this year that you decide to travel north
of the border to see in the New Year again in future!

				
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posted:2/23/2011
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