- Christmas was not celebrated as a festival and Hogmanay was the winter celebration.
- The most widespread national custom is the practice of first-footing, which involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt, coal, shortbread, whisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake), intended to bring different kinds of luck to the householder.
- Traditionally, tall, dark men are preferred as the first-footer.
- The house is then sealed up tight and branches of juniper are set on fire and carried throughout the house and byre. Then all the doors and windows are flung open to let in the cold, fresh air of the new year.
- The woman of the house then administers 'a restorative' from the whisky bottle, and the household sits down to its New Year breakfast