Happy New Year!

by Natasha Starkell | 30.12.2013 | new year , 2014 , scotland , hogmanay | 0 comments | Rating: 1 votes

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The New Year is always a time for celebration – nowhere more so than in Scotland where Hogmanay is celebrated by a practice of first-footing. The first-foot is the first person to enter the household on New Year’s Day and brings good fortune for the coming year.

Traditionally, the first-foot is a tall, dark-haired male who brings gifts such as a coin (representing financial prosperity), bread (food), salt (flavour), coal (warmth), shortbread (sweetness) or whisky (good cheer).

One thing that isn’t traditional to bring as a gift is a plant or flowers. This contrasts with Chinese New Year celebrations, where the presence of live blooming plants are important to symbolise new growth, wealth and success. Highly prized flowers include azalea, peony and narcissus. Bamboo is also seen to be lucky.

If you’re a tall dark and handsome man, why not consider bringing a bit of China to Scotland this year and take some flowers first-footing? Or at the very least, a stick of bamboo -  if they’re gardeners they’ll be able to grow some plants up it in the new year. 

Video: Foxtail by Andrew Zuckerman. Read our interview with Andrew.

Photo Credit: Hello-Julie


Natasha Starkell
Written by Natasha Starkell

Working mum, struggling with gardening chores.

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