Once Scotland’s foremost festive celebrations, I fear our traditional Hogmanay is slowly becoming a thing of the past.
Anyone reading ‘Oor Wullie’ or ‘The Broons’ could be excused for thinking that, as the bells chime, we Scots start wandering the streets, a lump of coal in one hand and a bottle of whisky in the other, knocking on random doors and receiving a warm welcome wherever we go.
I have vague memories of scenes akin to that when I was a toddler and my grandmother’s house regularly hosted a New Year party, attended by family, friends and, well, anyone who cared to turn up.
In the intervening years, however, that tradition has largely disappeared and, if a stranger had knocked on my door in the wee sma’ hours of Wednesday morning, the chances are they would have been turned away ... and I suspect it would have been the same at most homes across the district.
Street parties too have become a thing of the past. A few cities still cling on to the tradition, mostly as money-making exercises, but days when towns such as Falkirk hosted a shindig by the Steeple unfortunately seem to be long gone, spoiled by people’s incapacity to control their drinking.