St Andrew Scottish Society
of New Mexico

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Scottish-American Holidays

Dates to Celebrate Scotland and Being Scottish

December 31/January 1st - Hogmanay (Scottish New Year)

One tradition is to spend the last day of the year cleaning because having a dirty house at midnight is bad luck.  Another tradition is to hold hands with crossed arms and sing Auld Lang Syne at midnight.  In Scotland, businesses usually take both the 1st and the 2nd day of January off.   A traditional Hogmanay greeting: "Lang may yer lum reek!" which is 'long may your chimney smoke' as in having a prosperously warm home.

January 25th - Burns Night

Rabbie (Robert) Burns was a very famous Scottish poet.  Around the date of his birth, Scots everywhere honor him and hold dinners that include reading his work, haggis, Scotch and a whole list of fun customs and rituals.  Burns Night is the biggest event the SASSNM hosts annually.

Note: Although March 17th, St Patrick's Day, is a celebration of Ireland and being Irish, many Scots don their tartan kilts with accessories and honor our Celtic brotherhood.  

April 6th - Tartan Day

In the U.S. and Canada, we celebrate our Scottish history on the same day that the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320, which declared Scottish Independence.  Put on Scottish clan tartan kilts and sashes, listen to pipes and drums, watch Highland dancers, eat and perhaps share a wee bit of single malt Scotch.  

Note: Scotland Week or Tartan Week is from April 1st through the 7th.  The month of April is National Scottish-American (or Scots-American) Heritage Month.  

November 30th - St Andrew's Day

The National Day of Scotland is St Andrew's Day and this holiday is very important there.  Andrew was one of the 12 apostles.  The Scottish flag IS the cross of St Andrew, also known as the Saltire.  The white cross is diagonal because it is said that Saint Andrew believed himself unworthy to be crucified on a cross like that of Christ.  Obviously, the SASSNM honors him in our very name.

Note: The Kirkin o the Tartan (blessing of tartans) can be held either near St Andrew's Day or near Tartan Day.  Celebrating Scottish heritage through multiple annual Kirkin events is encouraged.  Most are held at churches and include a pastor/priest offering a prayer of blessing over tartans.


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