WHAT are your Hogmanay traditions?

Dan Harris, a regular Times Past contributor recalls his family sending him out each year at 11.55pm “with instructions to rattle the letterbox after the bells had stopped.”

He smiles: “Your first foot had to be male and dark-haired – I lived with my parents, younger blonde brother and our white-haired grandfather on the top floor of a tenement. I had dark hair, so I had to do it.

“It was also considered good manners to bring in a lump of coal - something to do with ‘lang may your lum reek’, I suppose. Our coal bunker was on the landing so I had plenty to choose from.

“My mother must have been a good hostess. Our extended family came to our house to bring in the New Year for years. Well, she was manager of a grocer’s and food was rationed until 1954….”

Glasgow Times: It was too much for this police officer, the Hogmanay celebrations in George Square. Pic: Newsquest

At Hogmanay, recalls Dan, everyone was expected to sing at least one song.

“My dad was a very quiet person,” he says. “Neither of my parents touched alcohol except for Hogmanay, when my mother had a wee glass of sherry and my dad had a beer and a wee ‘hauf’ of whisky. I felt like a grown up. I had ginger wine - coloured lemonade.

“The singing would start, and anyone who tried to join in with the soloist would be subjected to cries of ‘wan singer, wan song.’

Glasgow Times: Jill Bunyan and Charles Bryce dance as guitarist Peter Bradford and fiddler Francis Birrell practise for the 1990 Hogmanay party in George Square in Glasgow. Pic: Newsquest

“Every year, the time would come when the alcohol would affect my Dad, and he would suddenly burst out singing. The cry would go out from the audience – ‘gaun yersel’ Geordie’ until minutes later, he would slump forward in a deep sleep. He was then lifted and put on top of the inset bed, and the party resumed….”