Christmas in Scotland these days is a fabulous affair, with fantastic food, wonderful entertainment, Christmas markets, great shopping opportunities and a very warm welcome.
As recently as 1958 Christmas was still a working day for ordinary Scots. In 1640, an act of the Scottish Parliament abolished the ‘Yule vacation’ and it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that Christmas Day became a public holiday, with Boxing Day following in 1974.
The New Year festivities at Hogmanay were traditionally far larger in Scotland and the time when presents were exchanged and while Christmas is now the main time for festive gift giving, many older Scots will remember receiving their childhood presents on 31 December.
A big part of Scotland’s New Year celebrations is the tradition of ‘first-footing’ – a custom said to bring good luck for the year ahead. To ensure good fortune, the first person across the threshold of your home after ‘the bells’ chime midnight should be tall, dark and handsome. He should also bring with him a piece of coal to ensure your hearth is warm, some food (often shortbread) so you won’t go hungry, and a wee dram of whisky to promote good cheer for the coming year.
Many towns also have their own unique customs and there are lots of firework displays and parties held across the country. It is a wonderful celebration to be part of and a great time to come to Scotland. Apart from Edinburgh’s amazing Hogmanay street party, concert and fireworks, Scotland’s festivities include the family-friendly Red Hot Highland Fling in Inverness and the unique Stonehaven fireballs parade. This awesome spectacle involves a ritual where participants swing balls of fire around their heads to burn off any bad spirits left behind from the old year.
Being such a popular festive destination, holiday properties in Scotland are often booked up weeks, months or even a year in advance, but at Unique Cottages we still have some fantastic properties available. These include a cosy rural retreat for couples, some perfect countryside properties for families and an Edinburgh city apartment that’s ideal for enjoying the bustling Christmas markets, fairground rides and the lively atmosphere of Scotland’s capital city.
Many of our properties welcome pets, so there’s no need to leave your four legged family members behind and lots of our cottages feature open fires or wood-burning stoves to cosy up in front of during your festive break.
Browse our festive offers online or call us on 01835 822277 for friendly advice and recommendations from our team.
If you are looking for Christmas gift ideas, why not treat your partner, friend or someone in your family to a relaxing break in one of our cottages? Our holiday gift vouchers are available for any value over £25 and, as they are valid for up to 18 months, they really are the gift that keeps on giving.
They come in an attractive gift card that can be personalised with your own message. Just give us a call to get yours ordered in time for Christmas delivery.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hogmanay!