The Seventh Day of Christmas is New Year's Eve. In much of Christian Europe this day is also known as Silvester or the Feast of Sylvester. One of the more interesting iterations of celebrating the arrival of the new year occurs in Scotland. It's known as Hogmanay. It's a nice blend of old and new elements including feasts, fireworks, bonfires, torchlight processions, and driving out trolls.
The many features of Hogmanay will be repeated throughout this day as the new year sweeps across the face of the planet. Virtually all the these activities will involve the gathering of family and friends. Whether they celebrate among millions or simply with immediate family there will come a time to end the celebration and look forward to the sun rising on the first new day of the new year. In the western world, perhaps any place touched by British traditions, that gathering will end with the singing of Robert Burns's poem, Auld Lang Syne, set to an ancient Scottish folk melody. At least three centuries before Burns's lyric became popular, there was another song shared among departing English, Irish, and Scots friends on the eve of the new year. We offer The Parting Glass to you tonight as we ring out 2017 and ring in 2018 as a year of hope overflowing with blessing and goodwill for all.
Happy New Year 2018!