Monday, January 14, 2008

The Old New Year

On Saturday, Inverness marked the "Old New Year" (an t-Seann Bhliadhn’ Ùr in Gaelic) - that is, the date that was January 1st until the adoption of the Georgian calendar system. By the time Scotland adopted the calendar (in 1751 according to my internet research), the calendars were 11 days apart. The Highland Scots, stubborn lot that they can be, kept their celebrations to the old calendar (11 days late) for several centuries more.

Since 2007 was the Year of Highland Culture in Scotland, in keeping with Highland tradition they started the year on January 12, 2007, and had its finale on January 12, 2008. So the city put on a few events for that, including a big fireworks display from the Kessock Bridge, accompanied by music. It was a pretty good little fireworks show, although it was so cold that the smoke hung in the air, partially obscuring later fireworks but also being lit up by them.

There was a shinty match scheduled earlier in the day which I wanted to see, but when I went down to the park there didn't seem to be any match on, and I heard tell that it might have been cancelled on account of the freezing conditions (frozen ground makes a hard surface to play on). So I've yet to see a shinty match, but I'll be keeping my eyes open for one.

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