Scotland celebrates much of the same holidays as the rest of the UK, but there are a few which are different in size or completely original.
First Footing, 1st January
'First Foot' or 'First Footing' comes from the first person to cross the threshold into a home on the first day of the New Year. The 'first foot' in the house after midnight should be male, dark, and handsome and should carry symbolic coal, shortbread, salt, black bun (a spiced cake) and, of course, whisky and we must not let a women come inside the house until a man does or it's bad luck. This is how the Scottish tradition did it and is believed to have come from the Viking days of long ago when it was not so lucky to have a big long haired blonde stranger arrive on your door step with a big axe.
Tradition tell us this
* .... Good luck is believed to be brought to the house by the First-Foot, and a female First-Foot is regarded with dread. In Lancashire a light-haired man is as unlucky as a woman, and it became a custom for a dark-haired male to be the one and only first-foot.
* In Worcestershire luck is ensured by stopping the first carol-singer who appears and leading him through the house.
* In Yorkshire it must always be a male who enters the house first, but his fairness is no objection.
* The first-foot usually brings a gift of coal and salt. The coal representing "warmth" for the year ahead and the salt representing "flavour".
* In Scotland first-footing was always more elaborate than in England, involving a subsequent entertainment.
Today is also known as "First Day" and "New Year's Day".
Visiting friends and relatives immediately after New Year's Eve, in the early hours of the morning of January 1st The early hours of 1 January are traditionally spent going from house to house in your neighbourhood visiting people and welcoming in the New Year.
In Kirkwall, ,Orkney, there is a New Year Ba' Game held in the streets of... [continues]
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