Wednesday, January 12 2022

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, now in his second term, has never been a huge fan of England, to the point that, as the second in command of the stubborn Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond, she and Salmonds have almost executed the exit from Scotland. . union with the Briton in 2014. She remains to this day a fierce enemy of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

So, as Omicron arrived in London from South Africa earlier in December and Johnson and his cabinet hesitated over the lockdown restrictions before Christmas (ultimately deciding that enough people were vaccinated so that he could avoid the most draconian lockdown), it was no surprise that Ms Sturgeon took the opposite direction. On December 26, Boxing Day, the Scottish government canceled Hogmanay.

It deserves some explanation, but for the Scots and for the thousands of people around the world who travel to Scotland to enjoy it, Hogmanay is not just any New Years party. First, it lasts three days, and in a fierce and festive intensity, it is more akin to Mardi Gras than any other end-of-year event. But Hogmanay also dates back to Scandinavian Scotland – aka the Viking invasions – which took place between the 8th and 15th centuries. These were invaders from the north, or early Norway, and later settlers, who occupied the Orkney, Hebrides, Sutherland and other coastal areas of Scotland. Hence the exuberant parades of Scots wearing battle axes in Viking gear (combined, in a large mash-up, with all-Scottish kilts) through the streets of Edinburgh and other Scottish towns, as below . They are both very funny and very serious at the same time, much like a Scottish version of the Civil War pageants, but for partying, not for camping and musketing.

But, like Mardi Gras, Hogmanay is both bigger and less picturesque than that. In early August, as young Europeans began to realize how much fun it was to have fun on the continent and, at the same time, as Europe rediscovered, developed and beautified its city centers, Hogmanay had become a journey the end of the year. goal. The photograph below gives a good idea of ​​the size of the crowd in Edinburgh. It’s just a not quite entire block section of a main street.

Since the place is also Scotland and the Scots are known for their super quirky ways (e.g. Hogmanay), all kinds of wacky projects have been devised and made possible over the years to fan the flames of the new. Global popularity of Three-day non-stop evenings in major metropolitan cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh. (Read: accessible for what equates to pennies via Ryanair or other low cost carriers.) This only helped speed and end the festivities as well as the growing global popularity of the Hogmanay for the Scots are the recognized masters of the distillation of this land.

Waterskiing on Loch Lomond, Edinburgh’s annual dip in the fairly icy Firth of Forth, the so-called ‘Loony Dook Swim’, is pictured below.

All this and more fell under the very special government ax at Hogmanay on December 26, with the regulations coming into effect on the 27th. It is evident – or has been the case for two years – that our personal collection of agents pathogens at some point At some point, the collection of bacteria and viruses that we carry, their detection and analysis will certainly affect public gatherings.

It will remain a little pandemic irony that the UN COP26 conference was held in Glasgow and a few weeks later Ms Sturgeon resumed her Viking ax to, essentially, cancel football, severely limit indoor and outdoor gatherings and decimate the Scottish hospitality industry at a time of year when bookings were at their peak. Needless to say, it wasn’t a popular decision, and she was downright and hilariously cursed by her outspoken people for taking the tough call.

This is a travel scenario that we know all too well, unfortunately, and, despite our numerous vaccinations and reminders, one that we are likely to become more familiar with. Scots are tough, but after so much time in a pandemic there is an element of sadness in having Hogmanay crushed in the country that made Auld Lang Syne.

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