Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Soon be the dawn of yet another year - time seems to pass so quickly!
Hogmanay is the Scots word for the celebration to welcome the New Year. Traditionally it runs from noon on 31 December to noon on 1 January. It is a time of hope and looking forward to a better year.
The celebration of Hogmanay can be traced back to the pagan practices of sun and fire worship in mid-winter. The Roman festival of Saturnalia involved great festivities with lots of wine and food, as well as more lascivious goings-on. The Vikings celebrated Yule, beginning on the shortest day of the year with sacrifices to the Norse gods and continuing for a number of days. The customs of Hogmanay probably combine elements of both of these with elements of druidic winter solstice practices.
Following the Scottish Reformation in the 1560s, celebrating Christmas was frowned upon by the rather dour version of Calvinism introduced by John Knox and his successors, who believed it was too superstitious and too Roman Catholic. This was taken so seriously, and preached so vociferously in parish churches, that the celebration of Christmas was effectively banned, except in its pure religious sense. However, while the reformers could ban Christmas, they were unable to do the same for New Year. The celebrations were forced to go underground during the Interregnum under Oliver Cromwell, who banned Christmas in 1651, but it re-emerged in the late 17th Century.
Right up until the 1950s, Hogmanay was the major festival of the winter season. Christmas Day was a normal working day in Scotland until the 1960s and even into the 1970s in some areas. Instead, people took holidays over the New Year period, 31 December to 2 January, with all the feasting and gift-giving which is now associated primarily with Christmas. By the 1980s/90s, Christmas had once again become a huge festival, due in large part to the waning influence of the church. However, despite Christmas Day and Boxing Day being made public holidays in the 1960s, Hogmanay is still associated with as much celebration as Christmas in Scotland, if not more.
No-one is really sure where the word Hogmanay comes from. The Gaelic phrase for Hogmanay is Oidhche na Challuinne, meaning 'the night of the new year.' The word Hogmanay can be traced back to 1696 with reference to someone singing a 'hog ma nae song.' The Oxford English Dictionary dates Hogmynae-night as a festival as far back as 1680. Read more here.
The lovely image above is a desktop which if you click on it you will see full size, you may then right click and choose save to your own computer. Desktop created by myself using a stunning photograph of Loch Assynt taken by Gary Sutherland, Kinlochbervie, in December 2010. The image above will fit a widescreen monitor. If you use a standard size monitor take the one below this.
If you would like a card sized version which you may send to friends visit our Gallery. Lots of lovely cards there for all occasions, all created by ladies with County Sutherland heritage.
I wish each and every one of you A Guid New Year, health, wealth and happiness and may 2011 be the year your most difficult brick wall tumbles.
Sunday, 24 October 2010
Monday, 12 October 2009
Friday, 11 September 2009
Photo taken by Andy Ross.
The image here will fit all widescreen monitors. Click on the picture and the full size will come up. You can save it by going to FILE, SAVE IMAGE AS. When it is on your computer, right click on the image and choose SET AS DESKTOP WALLPAPER.
If you have a standard size computer monitor you can get the correct size by clicking HERE and choosing DOWNLOAD.
Monday, 30 March 2009
Available in two sizes, widescreen and standard. Download this zip file HERE and choose which to use.
Putting this gorgeous image on your screen is easy. Download the file, double click to open it, choose the size more suited to your monitor, double click on the image, right click and choose set as desktop wallpaper.
Saturday, 20 September 2008
I spent a few days here while touring Sutherland and loved it. Lovely people, stunning scenery and the wildlife is brilliant.
I took this photograph just as the evening light was beginning to fade.
Unfortunately the sky was a little cloudy but does not detract from the beauty.
This is a wide screen desktop wallpaper. Click on it and the full size image will open up. Right click on that and save to your own computer. If you need a standard size you can download one HERE.
There is a matching card in the Touch of Class Gallery if you would like to send one to friends.
Monday, 11 August 2008
This image is widescreen size. Click on the image and it will download to your computer.
If you need a standard size you can download one HERE.
Thursday, 31 January 2008
Friday, 30 November 2007
Monday, 12 November 2007
Sunday, 11 November 2007
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
A new desktop wallpaper for you. This one is a shot taken a couple of weeks ago from the Mound looking towards Rogart over Loch Fleet. Dusk was just falling after a sharp, cold day.
The preview does not do justice to the beautfy of the large desktop. You can download a zipfile containing two sizes, standard plus widescreen HERE.
Thanks and enjoy,Chris