New Year’s Eve: Hogmanay suggestions for celebrating the lockdown


It’s going to be like no other Hogmanay – but that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate properly.

On Christmas Day, though restrictions are temporarily relaxed, the same is not valid for New Year’s Eve.

Nicola Sturgeon has already said that for New Year’s Eve, there can be “no further relaxation of measures” so it looks like we’re going to stay where we are.

But if last year’s Scotland proved anything, we can adjust to any circumstances.

Here’s the definitive guide to celebrating this year’s Hogmanay:


If we can usually do one thing, it’s eat. Food and drink is a staple for Hogmanay in households in Scotland, and it’s undoubtedly something that can remain the same, even in these unpredictable times.

A bell-ring soup pot never goes wrong, and you would think that a slow-cooked stew at this time of year is something legendary.

But though many families are planning to go out to dinner on New Year’s Day, this year, that won’t be the case.

Trying out some new recipes at home and getting a New Year’s dinner at home would be an option. Bake a few sweets, such as traditional Scottish tables or shortbread, to ring the bells.

During the New Year, Zoom has lifted the 40-minute time limit, so place the camera on the floor and invite as many guests as you wish!

Foot Stomp First

The normal act of ‘first footing’ will certainly be missed this year, a tradition in Scotland on Hogmanay, but there might be a way to save it.

The first person to enter the house after midnight, usually, carries presents. Over the years, it has been adapted, and some now visit neighbors before going on to the next house with a sip and a song.

While this year we are not allowed into other people’s homes, we can definitely adapt the tradition to it.

Ask one of your relatives to draw the short straw and brave the cold shortly after midnight and emulate your immediate neighborhood with a first acquaintance. Or do a virtual first base and make sure you call your loved ones and wish them a Happy New Year.

The Television

There is plenty of content to watch on Hogmanay on TV, as always. The official TV guide hasn’t been released yet, but old favorites, including Still Game, are likely to be there.

As always, to help us ring the bells from the comfort of our own homes, there will be some Hogmanay specials. On BBC One, Susan Calman with “a studio full of stars.” prepares for Hogmanay 2020.

Events in Live

This year, the events for which the festive season in Scotland is renowned will not take place in person. For the first time, however, many of them will be digitally transmitted, enabling us to enjoy the festivities from the comfort of our own homes.

The Hogmanay of Edinburgh, which normally takes the form of an amazing street party with live performances and festivities, will take place online instead. Jackie Kay, the award-winning poet and Scottish macaroon, will bring to life an exciting new play, making Scotland’s first large-scale drone show and the biggest drone show ever seen in the UK.

Around 150 drones, accompanied by original lyrics and music from Jackie Kay and Skye’s Niteworks, will conjure up iconic images and words in the Scottish sky. And for this special “online only” show, Scottish actor David Tennant will lead the voiceover team.


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