Join Romance Giveaways for all Giveaway Information

Spotlight on Gilly Fraser and GIVEAWAY!

We have author Gilly Fraser under the spotlight today! Connect with her on her Website. Over to Gilly now...


Happy Hogmanay!

Hogmanay.  It’s an odd word and even the most esteemed historians are unsure of its true origins. However - every Scot discovers the significance of the word practically at birth, and anyone who’s ever set foot on Scottish soil or over Scottish threshold at this very special time of year will soon learn all they need to know.

In some parts of Scotland, Christmas has only become a major festival in relatively modern times. As recently as the 1950’s you’d find many families eschewing the whole Santa Claus malarkey, opting instead to concentrate all their efforts on the following week. On Hogmanay.

Some festivals dance about all over the calendar, their timing depending on such vagaries as the cycles of the moon. Hogmanay however will forever be December 31 - a date set in stone - or perhaps that should really be coal since the black stuff plays a major role in the festivities.  

It is a time to reminisce, a time for nostalgia, a time for a little mellow melancholy as we gaze back over the year just gone and consider all that happened in its days.

It’s also a time for celebration, revelry, madcap and mayhem as we welcome the New Year in. And if Christmas is typically decorated in tinsel and fairy lights, Hogmanay needs no such artifice, for it is festooned in tradition.

The first person to set foot over your threshold after the first midnight chime must be tall, dark and preferably handsome. And - my sincere apologies to feminist sensibilities (of which I hold many), but this is a deeply and unashamedly sexist time of year. The tall, dark, handsome one will be forgiven for not fulfilling one, two, or even all three of the above requirements, but must, must, abso-bally-lutely MUST be male.

Furthermore - the said First Foot must not arrive at the door empty-handed. He should bring a coin, bread, salt, coal and a bottle of whisky, gifts representing prosperity, food, flavour, warmth and good cheer.  

And one more thing - before allowing the First Foot to come in and share the warmth of the family gathering, you must enquire as to his career status. Certain occupations are deemed unlucky - the list includes gravediggers, which is perhaps understandable but doctors and ministers of the church are also regarded as omens of bad luck. Or maybe party-goers of earlier generations simply felt gentlemen of those particular professions might spoil their fun so opted to leave them out in the cold!

Writers over the years have seen Scotland as a wonderful setting for stories, rich in culture, heritage, beautiful landscapes and fascinating characters. Maybe that little taste of Hogmanay might just inspire a few more storylines - I do hope so. But in any case, may I wish you all a very Happy Hogmanay - and as we also say in Scotland - Lang may yer lum reek!



Gilly Fraser has just released a book Forbidden Love & Other Stories

Four very different stories of love and loss.

Forbidden Love: Rock Star Jake Lee is drawn back to his roots and the girl who first inspired him. But is it too late?

Slippery When Wet: When the man of her fantasy suddenly appears is it a dream come true or a nightmare for Maxine?

The Great Pretender: A tale of love and retribution played out through the ages.

Melissa and the Cowboy: Lust can happen along at the most inappropriate moment...

So Gilly Fraser has announced that she will be giving away one eCopy of her Forbidden Love and Other Stories to one commenter!

54 comments:

  1. Hi Nas Hi Gilly,

    I know about the Scottish Hogmanay tradition. I'm Irish and some of my family are Scottish. I had an Indian friend who spent some time in Scotland and he was often in demand for hogmanay parties as he was dark haired (naturally, all Indians are).

    I love reading and writing short stories and hav had several published in India where I live as well as in my native Ireland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Maria - and thank you very much for your comment! There's a great bond between the Scots and the Irish, so I'm sure you'll understand our Hogmanay traditions. I can just imagine your friend would have been in great demand - it's the one time of year when blondes don't have the most fun!

      Delete
    2. Welcome to Romance Book Paradise Gilly! I do hope you will enjoy chatting with all my friends here!

      Delete
    3. Hi Maria!

      Thanks for reading along!

      Delete
  2. Hi, Nas and Gilly,
    I believe this is the first I've come across this holiday. It was interesting to read about it. Good wishes for the sales of Forbidden Love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi J.L. Thank you for your comment and I'm really pleased you enjoyed reading about Hogmanay. We Scots are very big on tradition and this is definitely one of our top favourites!

      Delete
    2. Hello Joy!

      Same here! I also read about this holiday for the first time.

      Delete
  3. I'd love to go to Scotland one day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kelly - I was born in Aberdeen which is in the north of Scotland - it's a lovely area, but cold! I also lived for ten years in the Borders area of the country - and it's really gorgeous. I hope you get your wish to visit my lovely country someday!

      Delete
    2. Hi Kelly,

      It does sound interesting, doesn't it? Thansk for swinging by!

      Delete
  4. HA! Nothing wrong with a handsome man showing up at the door bearing gifts.

    My sister visited Scotland and loved it. I want to visit someday too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Theresa - I love this comment - and definitely agree! It's great to hear your sister loved Scotland - I hope you'll visit some day too.

      Delete
    2. Hi Theresa!

      Your sister must have enjoyed herself! We must visit Scotland one day!

      Delete
    3. Hi Theresa - hope you've had a very Happy New Year - and here's an extra little post-Christmas gift for you! I really liked your comment - so I've picked you as the winner! Please come over to my blog gillyfraser.com and leave your details there for me so I can send you a copy of Forbidden Love and Other Stories. And please let me know which format you prefer - pdf, epub or mobi.

      I look forward to hearing from you - and in the meantime I'm off to have a browse round your blog too!

      All the best for now - and Happy New Year!

      Delete
  5. Hey Gilly and Nas! I want to go to Scotland when we visit Ireland. Loved reading about this holiday. What fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Robyn - thank you for your comment - I'm really pleased you enjoyed hearing about Hogmanay. Ireland is my favourite country (next to Scotland!) so I'm sure you'll have a fantastic time there. The people are really friendly!

      Delete
    2. Hi Robyn!

      You must have enjoyed your visit? IO read about Scotland and want to visit one day.

      Delete
  6. Hogmanay sounds fascinating!

    Best wishes for the book release :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Charmaine - thank you for your good wishes. Hogmanay is a lovely time of year when friends and families really make the effort to get together - there's often lots of singing and dancing and visiting each other's houses. Great fun!

      Delete
    2. Hi Charmaine!

      I just saw more people are talking about 'Hogmanay!'

      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  7. Thank you Gilly. I enjoyed learning about Hogmanay. I spent a Chritmas in Scotland once and enjoyed the happy dancing and different festive foods. What fun.

    Happy New Year Nas and Gilly!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Denise - thank you for your comment. Great to know you enjoyed a Scottish Christmas - hope it wasn't too cold for you! I'm sure the welcome was warm even if the temperature was a bit on the chilly side...

      Delete
    2. Hi Denise!

      Happy New Year to you too, my friend! Oh, you, the world traveller, you!

      Delete
  8. Love everything about Scotland, especially the Scotish dancing.
    I write and maintain a blog which I have entitled “Accordingtothebook” and I’d like to invite you to follow it. I’m your newest follower.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi - Thank you for your comment - yes, we Scots do love to dance, though oiften with more enthusiasm than skill it would have to be said!

      Delete
    2. Thank you for following and for your comment!

      Delete
  9. Happy New Year, Nas! may 2013 be a prosperous year for all of the authors and industry professionals you feature here!

    And to you, as well, of course!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Suze - I'll join you in wishing everyone a truly Happy New Year - let's hope it's a good one for all of us.

      Delete
    2. Wishing you a prosperous and a Happy New Year, Suze!

      Delete
  10. Hogmanay... what a fascinating word!
    Congrats Gilly!
    Happy New Year Nas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Michelle - it is an odd word isn't it - and odder still that even the linguistic experts can't seem to agree about its exact origins. I quite like that - adds a touch of mystery!

      Delete
    2. Hi Michelle,

      Wishing you a prosperous and a Happy New Year!

      Delete
  11. Wow - such a joy to find so many lovely comments - thank you all so much for taking the time to leave me a note, it's really appreciated!
    If you manage to find another couple of minutes, I'd really love you to visit my own blog 'Reclaim The Romance' at gillyfraser.com - and please leave a comment for me there too - that will definitely make my day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gilly!

      So you did enjoy chatting with all my friends? That is always my wish. My visiting authors should enjoy being here at Romance Book Paradise!

      Delete
  12. Great to read this, Gilly and lang mae YOUR lum reek!

    Happy Hogmanay!

    Janice x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Janice!

      Thanks for coming by! Wishing you a prosperous and a Happy New Year!

      Delete
  13. "Lang may yer lum reek!" Now I want to know what this means!

    Hogmanay sounds fascinating!

    Happy New Year to you and Nas :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Carol - it's a great saying isn't it? Literally translated it means 'Long may your chimney smoke', so I suppose people first used it to mean - may you always have enough coal in your grate to make a fire, but nowadays people use it in all sorts of contexts, some of them distinctly naughty!

      Delete
    2. Hi Carol and Gilly!

      I'm also learning new things here! Thanks!

      Delete
  14. Hogmanay! I love that word. How fun!

    Happy Hogmanay Day and Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy Hogmanay Day Sherry!

      Delete
    2. Thank you very much for your good wishes Sherry - and I hope you've had a wonderful Hogmanay and New Year!

      Delete
  15. Hogmanay! Why haven't I heard of that before? Hmm. Life must be going pretty good for me; my chimney's burning and smoking. LOL. Happy New Year, Nas. Nice to meet you, Gilly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And may your Chimneyy always burn and smoke Joylene!

      Wishing you a prosperous and a Happy New Year!

      Delete
    2. Hi Joylene - I'm happy to know I'm spreading the word about a lovely tradition! Good to hear your lum's reeking well too!

      Delete
  16. Thank you very much indeed to everyone for all the lovely comments - I've really enjoyed being a guest on Romance Book Paradise - it's a fantastic site and Nas is an awesome host!

    Choosing a winner hasn't been easy as the comments are all so great, but I've decided to go with Theresa Milstein as her comment made me laugh - and I totally agree with what she said!

    So - Theresa wins an ecopy of my book Forbidden Love and Other Stories - I'm sure she'll find a few handsome strangers within its pages!


    ReplyDelete
  17. Fascinating post. I've heard of Hogmanay, but wasn't sure what it was.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Medeia - I'm glad you enjoyed hearing about Hogmanay. I love the fact that every country has its own customs and traditions - but everyone can also enjoy each other's!

      Delete
  18. awesome post. Never heard of Hogmanay, but it sounds like fun!
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you nutschell - Hogmanay can definitely be a lot of fun!

      Delete
  19. Great post, Gilly, and very informative!

    I did know the Scots made a great to-do about New Years... just once I'll have to be somewhere in Scotland at that time of year....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi William - thanks for that. It's definitely true - we Scots like to kick up our heels and party - as a farewell to the old year and a welcome to the new. You should definitely sample a Scottish Hogmanay for yourself!

      Delete
  20. Just found out I won. How wonderful! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Theresa - this is just a wee reminder - please pop over to my blog (gillyfraser.com) and let me know details for sending you Forbidden Love. Cheers!

      Delete

Share your wisdom!