Stags Breath Scottish Honey Whisky Liqueur

A Few Things You Might Need to Know about Hogmanay in Newtonmore – with Stag’s Breath Liqueur.

Newtonmore Hogmanay Fireworks from across the River Spey – snowy mountains behind.

Stag’s Breath Liqueur was first tried out by local hoteliers in the Highland village of Newtonmore as a toast at the traditional Hogmanay (New Year) occasion when this Badenoch community gives its annual welcome to hundreds of visitors from home and abroad. Nowadays, a torchlit procession along the Main Street of the village is led by pipers to the golf course where drams of Stag’s Breath are handed out in time for ‘the Bells’ at midnight and the spectacular fireworks that follow.

Marching from either end of the Main Street of Newtonmore

Nobody knows for sure where the word ‘Hogmanay’ came from. It may have originated from Gaelic or from Norman-French. What we do know, is that in Scotland, it means a good time surrounded by friends, ceilidh dancing and laughter.

Locals and visitors mingle to enjoy the ‘craic’

Historically, Christmas was not observed as a festival in Scotland and Hogmanay was the more traditional celebration. Nowadays, Christmas is widely celebrated, with Hogmanay signalling that the festive period is coming to an end and a new year is beginning.

After the dram of Stag’s Breath and the Bells – the Fireworks

‘The Bells’ is the phrase used to describe the midnight hour when New Year’s Eve becomes New Year’s Day. It stems from the noise the church bells make as the clock strikes midnight signalling the beginning of a new day and a new year.

Hogmanay in Newtonmore December 2017/January 2018

Famous Scottish poet Robert Burns’ ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is sung to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight, not just in Scotland but in many countries around the world.

Young and old, local and visitor – we join to celebrate the New Year

The Guinness Book of World Records lists ‘Auld Lang Syne’ as one of the most frequently sung songs in English. The song is sung or played in many movies, from festive blockbuster ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ to romantic comedy ‘When Harry Met Sally.

To sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’ a circle is created and hands are joined with the person on each side of you. At the beginning of the last verse, everyone crosses their arms across their breast, so that the right hand reaches out to the neighbour on the left and vice versa. When the tune ends, everyone rushes to the middle, while still holding hands.

An important element of Hogmanay celebrations is to welcome friends and strangers, with warm hospitality and of course a kiss to wish everyone a ‘Guid New Year’. The underlying belief is to clear out the vestiges of the old year, have a clean break and welcome in a young, New Year on a happy note.

To first foot a household empty-handed is considered grossly discourteous, never mind unlucky! You must not only bring yourself, but a gift of some description for the kind host. Consider yourself sufficiently warned!

First Footing’ – the ‘first foot’ in the house after midnight is still very common is Scotland. To ensure good luck, a first footer should be a dark-haired male. Fair-haired first footers were not particularly welcome after the Viking invasions of ancient times. Traditional gifts include a lump of coal to lovingly place on the host’s fire, along with shortbread, a black bun and, of course, a Stag’s Breath whisky and honey liqueur to toast to a Happy New Year.

Newtonmore Hogmanay

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll take a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowan fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fitt,
Sin' auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

Back to blog