When the Romans invaded Britain, this was assimilated into their Winter festival "Saturnalia and when the Vikings arrived later, their Yule celebrations became the twelve days of Christmas. Those traditions have been passed through the generations and become magnified into the celebrations we all know today.
There is no certainty as to the precise origins of the word “Hogmanay”. It may have come from the Gaelic “oge maiden” meaning “New Morning”, or perhaps from the Anglo Saxon “Haleg Monath” meaning “Holy Month”. Some say it is a product of Gaelic or Norman-French origin such as the Norman French word “hoguinane” meaning “gift at New Year” or “Homme est né” ( French for “Man is born”).
Celebrations in Scotland on New Year’s Eve typically involve the partaking of a wee dram or two with friends and family, and some traditional music and dancing. In the run-up to midnight, many Scots go “First Footing”, a night-time door-to-door tradition when custom dictates that if you receive a visit from a “tall, dark stranger”, bearing a lump of coal, a cake or a coin, you are assured of good luck and prosperity in the coming year. This tradition is believed to refer to Viking times, when the sight of a blonde stranger at your door was likely that of a Viking invading enemy instead of a well-wisher.
Finally, of course, events reach their peak at midnight, with the clock chiming, the bagpipes playing, and the singing of Auld Lang Syne. As to when the celebrations finish... well that’s anyone’s guess!
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