Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Dornoch's New Year Celebration

All right, as requested, I guess I'll update you guy's on something other than eggs.

Even though New Year's Eve was over a week ago, I'll fill you in on how it goes down here in Dornoch. First of all, the celebration is called Hogmanay. Scots take their New Year celebration very seriously. I might even go as far as saying it's a more celebrated holiday than Christmas. They actually have January 1st and January 2nd as national holidays. I think it's mostly for the the recovery process from all the partying.

Lots of Scottish towns have their own Hogmanay celebrations in their town squares. Dornoch has had one since 2000. It's grown a lot since then, this year seeing about 3,000 in attendance. Not that significant when compared to how huge Carytown's New Year in Richmond was this year, but pretty impressive when you realize that Dornoch's population is a mere 2,500.

People started arriving in the square around 10:30, there was a band playing and one vendor set up that sold nasty-looking hamburgers. There was even an area marked off for people to do some Scottish country dancing. We didn't join in.

It was very normal, actually expected, that you bring a book bag with all your favorite libations. We saw various friends pull out full bottles of whiskey, champagne, tons of beer, mixers, you name it they had it. Alcohol is a big part of Scottish culture (unfortunately, there's a high rate of alcoholism as well). I'm guessing there's no such thing as open container and drunk in public laws?

At midnight a lone bagpiper played a song from the top of the castle (the building to the right of my parents) and then there was a fireworks show. We went back to our house afterward to finish an exciting game of Scrabble (I won, by a lot). My parents had a great time, and I'm looking forward to next year!

3 comments:

James said...

biz is not an official scrabble word. So therefor you lose.

I'm Jennifer said...

HAH! go ahead and check out this Official Scrabble online dictionary and see what they say about "biz"

http://www.hasbro.com/games/adult-games/scrabble/home.cfm?page=Dictionary/dict

thereforE, I still won

Brooke said...

Hey! Thanks so much for reading and commenting- it's encouraging. I also subscribed to your page, and linked you to mine...it's so interesting to read about other people in other places experiencing new things!