The celebration of New Year's day varies according to the district. In the south of England, the festival of Christmas, lasting 12 days from December 25th, runs on well into the New Year. The decorations of coloured streamers and holly, put up round the walls, and of course the fir-tree, with its candles or lights, are not packed away until January 5th.
On the evening of December 31st, people gather in one another's homes, in clubs, in pubs, in restaurants, and hotels, in dance halls and institutes, to "see the New Year in". There is usually a supper of some kind, and a cabaret, or light entertainment.
The bells chime at midnight. The people join crossed hands, and sing "Auld lang syne", a song of remembrance.
In the north, and in Scotland, particularly, the Year known as Hogmanay, is very well kept up. The ceremonies are similar, but they have an added called "first foot". This means opening your door to anyone who knocks it after midnight, and who will then enter the house, carrying a piece of coal or wood, or bread. The visitor is entertained with cakes and ale.
At the Jolly parties on New Year's eve and also on Burn's night, when they commemorate their national poet (Jan. 25th), the Scottish people enjoy eating their famous Haggis. This is a pudding, made from the heart, liver and lungs of sheep or calf, minced suet, onions, oatmeal and seasoning, and cooked in the animal's stomach. It is brought into the banqueting-hall or dining room to the accompaniment of the bagpipes. Considerable quantities of good Scotch whiskey are consumed during these celebrations.