Mackays Hotel

Mackays Hotel

Luxury Hotel Accommodation in the centre of Wick, Caithness

Celebrating Twixmas and Hogmanay Traditions

Posted: December 20th, 2018 | Posted in: Christmas, General News

If there’s one thing us Scots do well – it’s a celebration, and Hogmanay is no exception. From seas of tartan to abundances of whisky, the Scottish New Year sparks the finest practice of some of Scotland’s oldest customs and traditions. With the festive season quickly approaching, Mackays are here with a few handy tips on how to celebrate  the great Hogmanay affair and a juicy Twixmas retreat to escape those post-Christmas blues.


Redding the House

You’ve heard of a Spring Cleaning, how about one for the New Year? Get your ducks in a row this New Year with one of Hogmanay’s oldest traditions, Redding the House. In Scottish tradition it is perceived as bad luck to have a dirty house when starting the New Year. The custom extends back to when household open fires were common, where ashes and unwanted burdens were cleared away for the New Year. Now that’s one reason to get the family to help with the cleaning!

hogmanay tradition scotland


Auld Lang Syne

Amongst the electricity of the New Year countdown and anticipation of kissing your sweetheart – the chiming of midnight is monumental in more ways than one. The approach of 12am sparks the iconic sound of Auld Lang Syne, a traditional song crafted by one of Scotland’s national treasures, Robert Burns. Gathered in circles, the verses of Auld Lange Syne resonate across the country as folk linked arm in arm belt it out like never before.


Burn baby burn

Through our Pagan and Viking roots, fire plays a significant role in Hogmanay customs. Across Scotland towns and cities host fire processions, with thousands gathering to add their flame to the sea of torches. Inspired by the Viking celebration Up Helly Aa, the greatest of these processions occurs in Edinburgh, where the carrying of torches across the city proves the literal definition of bringing the heat to the party!

hogmanay tradition scotland


Feeling Peckish?

If you still have room in your stomach after the Christmas feasts – you’re in luck. It may come as no surprise that one of the most favoured ways to celebrate Hogmanay includes a culinary indulgence verging on levels of gluttony.
Amidst the endless consumption of whisky and shortbread, one of the greatest feasts arises through a Steak Pie on New Year’s Day. What better way to start the new year than gathered with your closest over a hearty meal? The New Year brings the chance to embark on new journeys yet like with many things in Scotland – it’s celebrating our roots that allows us to grow.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Twixmas

It isn’t just Hogmanay that provides a reason to celebrate once Christmas is over. The post-Christmas recovery period between Christmas and New Years often holds the irresistible lure of pyjama days and leftover turkey sandwiches. This year, Mackays are offering our belated Christmas gift – a way to escape the aftermath of Christmas and celebrate a ‘Twixmas’ retreat.

That’s right! Between December 27-30, enjoy a night’s Bed & Breakfast stay for just £49.50 with two adults sharing a room. If you’re tempted to sample our winter menu, receive a complementary dinner for one during your stay when booking dinner for two or more.

This offer is subject to availability.

So whether you’re in participating in the traditional Scottish Fayre, joining our prolonged Christmas celebrations or seeking new ways to celebrate with those you love – Murray, Ellie, Jen and the Mackays’ team wish you a Happy Festive Season and look forward to creating memories with you in the New Year.

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