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Hogmanay, which is pronounced with the main stress on the last syllable (hog-muh-NAY), is the Scottish word for the last day of the year. It is synonymous with the New Year's celebrations.
It's official date is December 31, however this is normally only the start of the celebrations which generally last until the morning of January 1 or in many cases even until January 2.
The roots of Hogmanay go back to the pagan celebration of the winter solstice.
In Europe this evolved into the ancient celebration of Saturnalia, which was a great Roman winter festival where people celebrated completely free of inhibitions and restraints.
The Vikings celebrated Yule, which later became the twelve days of Christmas, or the "Daft Days" as they were sometimes called in Scotland. The winter festival went underground with the coming of the Protestant Reformation but re-emerged near the end of the 17th century.
The beautiful and exciting city of Edinburg, Scotland (pronounced Edinborough) is world renowned for having the very finest Hogmanay celebrations.