I thought I knew everything about Piping and Scottish Holidays which involve piping. I guess I may have missed one.
When I was asked by Barbara to play my bagpipes for “Hogmanay”, also known as Scottish New Years, I was instantly intrigued. “Hogmanay”? What is that? As she described it, it is the proper way to ring in the New Years, Scottish style. In order to abide by the rules of “Hogmanay”, you must thoroughly clean your house, place pieces of rowan tree above your fireplace, pay off your debts among other things. On the Eve, you are suppose to open up your back door to let the old and evil spirits leave, while opening up your front door to bring in the new and good luck.
The best way to celebrate the “Hogmanay” is with family and friends. The verbiage for the cheers is “Lang may yer lum reek!”, which means long may your chimney smoke. Another celebratory cheers is “A guid New Year to ane an’ a’ and mony may ye see”, which translates to A good New Year to one and all, and many may you see.
If you wish to read more, a great article is Scottish Hogmanay Customs.
Now, on to the bagpiping and the reason I was invited to play. Barbara, who also happens to be a beautiful singer copied several popular Scottish songs and requested the guests sing a long as I play. I played Scotland the Brave, Amazing Grace and Loch Lommond. It was the first time in my Portland piping experience I have ever played while others sang along. It was a truly moving experience. And the Scotch wasn’t bad either.
I had much fun and hopefully will play many more Scottish New Years Events. Heck, I might even host my own next year.