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Hogmanay!

Dicembre 2005
Forse in nessun'altra parte del mondo l'arrivo dell'anno nuovo viene festeggiato con altrettanto entusiasmo come in Scozia. Hogmanay é una notte magica, in cui si risolvono le liti e si saldano i debiti. E si fa baldoria fino al 2 gennaio.

di John Rigg

File audio:

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Speaker: Rachel Roberts (Standard British accent)

Stonehaven is a fishing town a few miles south of Aberdeen in Scotland. The beautiful views from the cliffs above the harbour attract many tourists during the summer. So why are we here on December 31st, a cold winter evening? We’re here to celebrate Hogmanay at the Stonehaven Fireball Ceremony. Hogmanay is the Scottish name for New Year’s Eve, and Stonehaven is one of the most exciting places to welcome the New Year.

THE CEREMONY

The evening begins when a small Scottish pipe band enters the High Street and begins to play at around 11.40 pm. Soon the old Town House bell rings in the New Year and a procession of 50 men appear swinging fireballs high above their heads. The men walk slowly up the High Street and then back to the harbour. The fireballs light up the street and sparks fly. The strongest men keep their fireballs flying for the entire 30-minute procession and throw them into the harbour at the end.
After the Fireball ceremony there is a firework display from the cliff tops above the harbour and then there is music in the market square until 2 a.m.
The fireballs, which weigh about 8 kilos, are metal cages filled with old clothes, wood, paper and paraffin.
According to tradition, the fire burns the evil spirits of the past year, so the New Year starts renewed.


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Glossary

cliffs - scogliere.

harbour - porto.

fireball - palla di fuoco.

pipe band - banda di cornamuse.

rings in - accoglie suonando.

swinging - facendo roteare.

sparks fly - volano scintille.

firework display - spettacolo di fuochi d’artificio.

weigh - pesano.

metal cages filled with old clothes - gabbie di metallo riempite di vecchi vestiti