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The new year doesn't always start on Jan. 1

By: Josh Lew on Dec. 28, 2016, 12:07 p.m.
Men dressed as Vikings take part in the torchlight procession Hogmanay

Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

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Hogmanay (December)

Hogmanay is the celebration of the new year in Scotland. Like the rest of Europe and the Western World, Scotland uses the Gregorian calendar, so Hogmanay takes place at the end of December and the beginning of January. However, festivities here do not involve balloon drops or champagne toasts.

Hogmanay celebrations include bonfires, torchlight marches and swinging fireballs. In major cities and towns, there are parades, concerts and performances. The "first foot" — the first step into a newly cleaned home after midnight on New Year's Eve — is an important part of the new year in more traditional parts of Scotland.