2015 Olde Towne Scottish Walk. Happy Hogmanay!
Date: December 8, 2015
By: Joe Elder
Each New Year’s Eve, people from all around eastern Virginia, come to Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia for the annual Scottish Walk. Modeled after Scotland’s Hogmanay Festival, a day when townspeople honor their community and merchants and offer blessings for prosperity in the coming year. The procession includes locals, family, friends and visitors led by pipe-and-drum bands. The participants gather at the corner of Queen and Washington streets and march through the historic streets of Olde Towne ending at the High Street Landing where all join hands and sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’.
Gather at Queen and Washington Street’s. Assemble at 4 p.m. and step off at 4:30. The Scottish Walk is free to all–rain or shine. Contact Susan Cocke for more information (757) 650-3052.
The Story Behind the Music: ‘Auld Lang Syne’
Many people are familiar with ‘Auld Lang Syne’ yet few may actually know what ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is all about. Of course, many people will instantly associate the words with “Scotland” or perhaps ‘New Year’. Some people consider it to be an international expression of friendship, fellowship and hope. Others perceive it to be a simple song, presented at the conclusion of a social gathering, remembering the past and re-affirming the importance of our future, and those important to us. Of course ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is ALL of these things!
“Auld Lang Syne” is a Scottish poem that was written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. It is well known in many English-speaking (and other) countries and is often sung to celebrate the start of the New Year at the stroke of midnight. Canadian band leader Guy Lombardo is often credited with popularizing the use of the song at New Year’s celebrations in America, through his annual broadcasts on radio and television, beginning in 1929. The song became his trademark.