New Year Inspirations

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Alice talks how to celebrate this momentous night of welcoming in 2017

Christmas is nearly upon us! And maybe we all feel a little harried, (and hungover) in this last week before Santa squeezes his rotundness down our chimneys.  But ideas for the New Year celebrations are tip-toeing in, and I am sure there are still some undecideds.  How to celebrate this momentous night of welcoming in 2017?  Leaving behind what has been a tumultuous 2016 for many.  So let’s delve into history for some New Year inspiration.

 British New Year’s Traditions

For centuries we have lit fires which have enchanted our forefathers as they have passed over the threshold into the new year.  This moment is a time of magic and wonderful possibilities.  The opportunity to breathe life into new ventures.  A time of reflection and hope.  A chance to write down your new year’s resolutions, as Samuel Pepys penned his in 1661, becoming the tradition thereafter.

Britain is full of rituals that include fire and festivities.  In Northumberland they have the famous Allendale Tar Barrel Festival where the ‘Guisers’ of the town carry whiskey barrels filled with burning tar balanced on their heads!

The Stonehaven Fireball Festival, near Aberdeen, parade sixty kilt clad marchers, accompanied by pipes and drums, who whirl 16 pound balls of fire on wire ropes around their heads.

And finally, the Comrie Flambeaux Procession.  This is a spectacle where eight huge fire torches are paraded through the town, and then thrown into the River Earn to rid the town of the year’s evil spirits.

Wood Fired New Year Inspiration

So, why not take inspiration from the above and create your very own fire festival. (I would not recommend directly replicating any of the above!) Invite your loved ones to join you round a wood fire to reflect on the year of 2016.  Ponder all your wishes and desires for 2017 under the inky starlit skies.

Wood fire catering

Cook your shared feasts, meats, and toasted marshmallows over your fire.  Bring in the New Year surrounded by friends, and warmed by the mesmerising light of the fire that has enchanted our tribes for all those centuries before us.

Happy New Year!

I leave you with the translated version of Auld Lang Syne:

Times Gone By

Should old acquaintances, Be forgotten, And never remembered, Should old acquaintance be, Forgotten, For times gone by

For times gone by, my dear, For times gone by, We will take a cup of, Kindness yet, For times gone by

And there is a hand my, Trust friend, And give me a hand of, Yours, And we will take a, Goodwill drink, For times gone by

For times gone by, my dear, For times gone by, We will take a cup of, Kindness yet, For times gone by

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