~ As a child I was in awe of my mother's grandparents (Sidney & Jane Row, immigrants) even though I could not figure out what they were saying during their little bickering sessions but somehow (perhaps because of this) I can now do a fantastic Scottish accent. (I love randomly broguing the phrase SCOTLAND YARD!)
~ On special occassions, my son and I proudly don our clan tartan neckties.
~ I love Craig Ferguson and the bagpipes more than my children (some days).
~ I almost bought a kilt when I was in Nova Scotia a few summers ago but (stereotype intact) I was too cheap.
~I actually own Scottish Strongman trading cards purchased at a highland games competition in Antigonish.
~And here's the kicker: I got married on Hogmanay! (And yeah, some people chose to, or as I like to call it, were forced to wear plaid.)
Despite all this, there's something I must confess. Someday when I finally travel to Scotland, it will all make sense but as of right now, this Canadian does not understand Hogmanay. What the hell is going on?
Craig Ferguson has an intriguing definition for Scotland's New Year's Eve celebrations. Hogmanay (noun): "a time when people who can inspire awe in the Irish for the amount of alcohol they can drink decide to ramp it up a notch."
It sounds like a pretty big deal. So I did some typically pea-brained research. I hope one of my readers out there can shed some much-needed light on this topic but until then, apparently this is what's possibly happening in Scotland right now:
- (no surprise) people are wearing kilts (with long johns I hope);
- (no surprise) people are getting rowdy and shit-faced drunk (just like here in Canada or the US or well okay, most of Earth);
- (surprise) people are throwing around balls of fire? (see photo borrowed from Life magazine online);
- (surprise) people are giving gifts or at least bringing food to parties (ceilidhs)? Thanks to Laoch, I am told these usually involve fist-fights. Uh, why give someone a bloody-nose if they brought you a present/bundt cake?
- (surprise) a tall dark-haired dude must be the first one to enter your home after midnight? (I believe this tradition is referred to as first-footing? And I'm guessing my wife would choose Jake Gyllenhaal.)
- (no surprise) people listen to great music and sing Old Lang Syne at midnight. (Robbie Burns may be the bomb dot com but can anyone possibly remember those lyrics? It's like a misheard lyrics wet-dream.)
- (surprise) people burn other shit too? Seriously, a Viking ship? I think Ewan McGregor might be involved. (Is there no security or what?)
- (no surprise) people have to kiss pigs (I suspect this is how women all over the world describe New Year's Eve.)
- (surprise) people fling haggis and/or curling rocks at politicians (I totally made this one up but it sounds reasonable to me.)