Favorite New Year's Weekend~ Dalhousie Castle in Scotland
I think my very favorite New Year's in recent history
was the year we traveled from Paris to Scotland with family.
My sister booked us into Dalhousie Castle, a 13th century castle near Edinburgh,
where upon arrival they realized they'd forgotten to tell us about the
Murder Mystery group who had filled the restaurant to capacity.
So they prepared us our own little dining room
in front of a fire, bringing us each course
and waiting on us like royalty.
After dinner we retired to The Library for our evening glass of scotch,
not too peaty, if ye please.
We even had someone to pour it for us.
(Love the bar behind the secret bookshelf compartment!)
We each picked a book from the 'library shelf'
and read while sipping our scotch
(until the Mystery dinner was over and the library
became infiltrated with loud murder mystery revelers for their after-dinner scotch. The nerve!)
The entry to the castle is filled with deco beauty and wall art...
as well as, at the time, my niece and nephew
(better known as My French Babies!).
We retired to our beautiful rooms located in the old carriage house
and were treated to a bagpipe concert in the morning.
If you've ever wanted to stay in a castle,
I highly recommend Dalhousie
though I've only stayed in one~~ so far!
But the best part (not to be missed)~ the tradition of Hogmanay ("a gift given at New Year").
In earlier times in the Highlands,
Hogmanay was celebrated on New Year's Day
by blessing the household and livestock with 'magic' water
from a river crossed by both the living and the dead
and fumigating the house with smoking juniper branches.
Today, Hogmanay starts with an outstanding torch-lit procession in Edinburgh.
For a small price, everyone in the crowd buys their own torch
and follows the procession, to the sound of bagpipes and drums,
through Edinburgh's historic old town along Princes street to Calton Hill
where the torches are thrown onto a Viking ship to watch it burn like a giant bonfire.
Auld Lang Syne is sung arm in arm (a Scottish poem by Robert Burns set to music)
and fireworks fill the sky. (BTW~Money from the sale of the torches goes to a children's charity!)
Several online sites have named Edinburgh's Hogmanay as the top-listed
New Year's Eve party in the world.
I'd have to agree!
And if you're looking for more fun,
January 25th is Burns Night, the celebration of Robert Burns' birth in 1759.
You can also catch a Burns Night Supper at The Auld Alliance in Paris
(80, rue Francois Miron in the Marais) for poems, songs and food.