How many times have you wondered about the origins of New Year's Eve, or Hogmanay as the Scots term it? This book reveals all as Hugh Douglas takes the reader from the remotest beginnings of this festival through the more recent developments in the 18th and 19th centuries right up to the millennium. There are many surprises in store for the unwary reader. Why a tall dark stranger at midnight, why carrying a lump of coal and why can the first-foot never be a fair person no matter how firm a friend? How was the name derived? Is it from the French, Greek, Scandinavian, German or Flemish? What does Hogmanay mean? Is it pagan, Christian, neither or both? On the lighter side, there are songs to be sung, drams to be drunk and food aplenty as Hugh includes music, recipe and anecdote in this essential companion. There is even a Hangover Helpline for those who have over-indulged!