#1 SCOTLAND | Hogmanay “First Footing”
Want a tall, dark and handsome Scotsman to turn up to your party and shower you in gifts? You might be interested in the Scottish tradition of first footing.
New Year’s Eve is a day so important in Scotland that it has its own name: Hogmanay. It’s known for bonfires, street parties, merrymaking and more, but most famously for the tradition of first footing– which stems from the Gaelic practice of qualtagh.
Basically, if a dark-haired stranger bringing gifts (shortbread, whiskey, a coin, salt and coal to symbolise nourishment, warmth, prosperity and good cheer) is the first person to set foot in your household, it’ll bring luck for the year ahead!
The first footer should be someone not already in the house at the stroke of midnight, and so the Scottish have one guest leave the party just before the bell tolls. He knocks on the door bearing symbolic gifts, and crosses the threshold as New Year begins. This lucky first-footer should also be a man, with dark hair, and not a doctor or any other profession associated with disease or death – otherwise, the luck might turn sour.
TRAVEL MONEY FOR SCOTLAND
Don’t forget! If you want to attend any Hogmanay celebrations in Scotland, you’ll need travel money! Scotland accepts both the Great British Pound (GBP) and the Scottish Pound (SCO), but we recommend taking the Great British Pound as it’s used more widely in the UK.