New Year Holiday – Sunday 1 January
Celebrating the New Year on 1st January is standard across most of the world, with many places putting on dramatic firework displays at the stroke of midnight. In Scotland, new year celebrations are known as Hogmanay, with a number of old, pre-Christian traditions, such as “first footing”, persisting in many Scottish communities.
Bank Holiday (Scotland) – Monday 2 January
There are slight differences in Bank Holiday dates between England and Scotland. The 30th November, St Andrew’s Day, is an optional Bank Holiday in Scotland, and 2nd January (or the following Monday if it falls on a weekend) is an official bank holiday and widely observed. Easter Monday is not an official Bank Holiday in Scotland but it is often observed by Scottish banks and retailers.
Robert Burns’ Birthday – Wednesday 25 January
A national hero in Scotland, and much admired further afield, Robert Burns was an 18th century poet and lyricist. He was best known for writing in the Scots language, encompassing themes of politics, love, and Scottish social identity. He was born on 25th January 1759, and his birthday is celebrated on that date each year, traditionally by means of the “Burns supper”. This generally involves haggis being served, and the recital of Burns’ poetry.