Hogmanay on Islay

An Islay Hogmanay

Hogmanay on Islay and ‘it’s tradition’.

A ‘tradition’ to party long and hard into the wee small hours and beyond.

‘Tradition’  to cast out the old year and welcome in the new.

Hogmanay at Persabus is steeped in Hebridean traditions.

If you have every wondered what an Islay Hogmanay is like, the traditions of island life at this time of year, read on.

The last of the revellers retired home at 6.45am

Hogmanay celebrations merging into the blur of Ne’er Day festivities as we celebrate a traditional Islay Hogmanay on the farm. 2017 had drawn to a close and the New Year was welcomed in with fireworks and a good gathering of ‘first footers’, which lead to a traditional Scottish ceilidh in the farmhouse. Rugs rolled away, and a Canadian Barn Dance and Dashing White Sergeant ensued. After the bells had struck, a knock at the farmhouse door welcomed in the New Year and the traditional first foot arrived, a tall, dark, and very handsome male, carrying some coal, salt, whisky and cake for the house, to represent warmth, longevity, good cheer and food for the coming year. Drams were poured for all the visiting first footers, including all of our cottage guests who had travelled all the way from London for their first island Hogmanay. After several hours they left knowing a load more people and more than a few Scottish dancing steps.

It was a lovely surprise then when the pottery had a traditional first foot too. I opened for a short while on the 2nd January to allow fired pieces to be collected. The first customers arrived with a bottle of Bowmore for the Happy Farmer followed by the next visiting party arriving with two bags of coal. Small drams were passed around the non-drivers among the crew and even the pottery was brimming with the warmth and hospitality of all that a good Scottish island Hogmanay has to offer. How good it is that these traditions continue.

Until next time……