Hogmanay is Scotland’s New Year’s Eve, and it’s quite a big deal in Scotland. For 400 years the Scots weren’t allowed to celebrate Christmas, because it was associated with the Catholic Church. So Hogmanay was their big mid-winter celebration. The traditions date back to Viking times.
Last year we went to Stirling’s Lantern Festival, and then enjoyed a fireworks display at midnight. This year we took advantage of a full house of visitors to put on a murder mystery evening (no-one guessed who the murderers were), and then went to Comrie’s famous Flambards Procession. This was a mixture of ancient and modern. The Flambards – poles which have been set on fire – are carried through the village by strong young men, and then thrown into the river. They are accompanied by bagpipes, and on this occasion by a cavorting Donald Trump figure.