Although it is only November and we haven’t even celebrated St Andrew’s day yet let alone Christmas many people’s thoughts will be turning to what they are doing on the last day of 2016.
Hogmanay – the Scots’ name for December 31st – is one of the highlights of the Scottish calendar. Steeped in tradition, it is almost as important a celebration as Christmas is (in fact Christmas only became a public holiday in Scotland in 1958). People gather together – over dinner or at ceilidhs to see out the Old Year and bring in the New with feasting, dancing, drinking and celebrating.
The origins of the celebration go back so far that no one is quite sure when they started. Once the chimes of midnight have died away the New Year is welcomed in accompanied by loud renditions of “Auld Lang Syne”. Scots then perform the traditional “First Footing” where the first person to enter a house brings gifts of black bun, coal and whisky to ensure good fortune in the year to come.
You’ll find that St Andrew’s is no exception to the rule. The bars, pubs and restaurants will be full of revellers and good cheer. With a little bit of planning now, however, you can ensure you can take part in whatever type of celebration you fancy whether it is dancing or drams!
If dancing is your thing then one of the most traditional and energetic ways to celebrate is to attend a ceilidh. Forgans on Market Street is hosting a Hogmanay dinner and ceilidh. After a full three course meal the live band, Free Reelin’ will strike up ready to bring in the New Year with a bang.
And for a less formal ceilidh, St Andrew’s Social Club are hosting Bring in the Bells with Craig Niven.
The morning after
Of course St Andrew’s is synonymous with golf and no trip would be complete without at least viewing the Old Course. If you fancy starting the New Year in style you can go to the Jazz Brunch at the Old Course Hotel on January 1st and enjoy a vast buffet whilst admiring the views across the links. Ticket information is available here.
During the day
If you’d rather do something in the early evening or during the day and have your own celebration back at base then St Andrew’s still has lots to offer. Cafe’s and restaurants will be open (there’s over sixty to choose from!), you could brave the weather and go for a walk along the coast or take in some history by visiting the Castle or the Hill of Tarvit with it’s 9-hole hickory golf course to transport you back to Edwardian times.
If being outdoors in Scotland in December doesn’t appeal there’s still plenty to do indoors. For example you can extend your festive feeling by going to The Byre Theatre’s production of Aladdin or perhaps take a tour of Eden Mill distillery.
All things considered, by planning a break in St Andrews this new year, and incorporating a few of the above events, you’re sure to have such an enjoyable Hogmanay that you’ll be eagerly awaiting the next one!
Need accommodation over New Year, just give us a call or check our availability here.