8 thoughts on “Fitzg’s Journeys – Hogmanay!

  1. Can I buy the rowan berries on amazon? 🙂

    This seems like such a pregnant (in the original meaning of the word) time of year — so many boundaries to be crossed. All of these celebrations of various liminalities are really making me think. What thresholds are we all crossing?

  2. How exciting to see that word “Hogmanay” on your blog!!  Being a Scot I have wonderful memories of Hogmanay and New Year celebrations!  My parents definitely wanted a tall dark MAN to be the first “First Footer” to cross the thresh-hold after the clock struck midnight but even if he wasn’t dark, a man with any colour of hair was preferable to a female!!  We always had various alcoholic drinks including whisky (that’s how it’s spelled in Scotland) available for whoever called plus things to eat like fruit cake, Scottish shortbread, Black Bun (a rich dark fruit cake in a pastry case) and such on hand.  I remember feeling very grown up, albeit a little shocked, the first time my Dad gave me a tiny glass of Crabbie’s Green Ginger wine to drink!!  Those were the days!!  🙂

    In my later teens, my friend and I were deemed old enough to go First Footing on our own as the streets were pretty safe back then and of course there was a lot less vehicular traffic than there is now.  We just carried little gifts to leave in every house we visited and we were never served alcohol by anyone and somehow never expected to be!  We walked everywhere of course, sometimes from one side of the city to the other; miles and miles!!  I don’t remember ever being afraid of anyone we met, even if it was the “wee small hours” of the morning as we were confident that if we met any drunk guy we could easily out-run him!!  Sad to think how times have changed.

    It’s a long time since I left Scotland but when talking to a fellow Scot the other day was somewhat cheered to hear that both Hogmanay and New Years are still very much celebrated!!  Slainte!!!!!!!!!!


    • I forgot to mention that for many years we had a lovely rowan tree in our garden.  (I think my Dad was a little superstitious!)  It started off as a very small sapling which my Mom and Dad had brought home from a cycling holiday they went on before I was born – far too many years ago to mention!!!!  It was taken up and replanted when we moved to our next home when I was seven and was still there when I went back to Scotland in 1996 even though my parents no longer lived in the house!  Sadly, when I went on to Google maps recently I see it’s been cut down. 🙁  My Mom used to pop a few of the berries into the pot when she made apple jelly which gave it a lovely amber colour.

  3. Or joining boundaries. Or acknowledging the commonality of origins while respecting differences of expression.

    As for rowan berries, no doubt a canny Scot has developed a rowanberry juice for commercial sale, which goes well as a Scotch mixer. And I suppose on that lighter note, I ought to wish the Wiccas and Druids the best for of the season, too. (since, of course, rowan trees  and the solstice apply to Hogmanay and “the auld religion”.)

    Seriously, Happy Chanakah, as well as a very good family week. The best for 2012.

  4. Thanks for the personal memories of the real Highland Hogmanays, Teuchter! (I hope you are keeping these details in your document files.)

    My mother, who had a Scots as well as an Irish grandmother (and two English ones) brought much of the the different heritages of the isles with her – English/Irish and Scottish songs and lullabies, and old customs (she did a melt-in-the mouth shortbread) – but for her, they were not as first-hand as were yours, as she grew up in Carlisle – well, it’s on the border 🙂

    A very good Christmas to you, and especially, a Happy Hogmanay!


  5. Wow! That was enormously enlightening. Or did I just have one drink to many?
    Lovely post Fitzg!!

  6. Fanny, it must be the rowanberries – never the whisky! Thank you for commenting and slainte!

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