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Hogmanay Celebrations

Hogmanay is a Scottish name for New Year's Eve, and is a time for merrymaking, the giving of presents and the observance of the old custom of First-Footing. One of the most interesting of Scottish Hogmanay celebrations is the Flambeaux Procession at Comrie, Perthshire. Such processions can be traced back to the time of the ancient Druids.* There is a procession of townsfolk in fancy dress carrying large torches. They are led by pipers.** When the procession has completed its tour, the flambeaux (torches) are thrown into a pile, and everyone dances around the blaze until the torches have burned out.

* (Druids - the priesthood of Celtic Britain, Ireland, and Gaul. Little is known of them or their religion, but they were men of rank and considerable political power who combined the functions of priest, judge, and sage; led Gaulish resistance to the Romans.)

** (pipers - players on the bagpipes (Scottish musical instrument).)

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