Fraser Bryce pic

By Fraser Bryce


I think it’s about high time we talked about Hogmanay. While almost everyone enjoys Christmas, I believe Hogmanay is the most up and down holiday in the world. When you’re young, it’s boring; staying up way past your bedtime to watch some fireworks while the rest of your family get wasted and argue about your uncle cheating at Pictionary on Christmas Day. And, if I’m being honest, it doesn’t get much better when you’re older. While some aspects of it are great – I’m always keen to have two days to recover from a hangover – we’ve built up this idea over the years that Hogmanay needs to be a night where everything is perfect, as if having one good night means that the rest of your year will be amazing.

Bullshit, I say.

The notion that Hogmanay needs to be amazing is a stupid one, quite frankly. I’m not going to lie, I usually have a great time on Hogmanay, but the idea that we should start our year as we intend to continue? Rubbish. If I had to continue throughout the year in the way I act on Hogmany, I’d have spent the year unable to work my eyes, trying to determine if I’m going to burp or throw up. If we were to follow this idea, my mate Gregor would have spent 2014 with his shoelaces tied together and a profanity written on his forehead.

Let’s use a slightly less absurd example, shall we? Last year, my Hogmanay consisted of two parts: VIP access to the celebrations on Princes Street, followed by a party at a friend’s flat. Sounds good right?

Wrong. While I did enjoy the Princes Street party, and was far too drunk not to have a good time at an Abba tribute, the party afterwards was dire. The only saving grace was that there was a ton of free booze, which I ravaged, by the way, in a desperate attempt to forget where I was. At no point did I think, ‘I hope my year continues like this’. The only way it could have been the highlight of my year is if I went straight from the party to prison and stayed there until 2016. If I had to continue my year as I did at that party, I’d have been locked in an asylum by March.

If you ask me, this whole thing of trying as hard as possible to make Hogmanay perfect gets in the way of having a good time. People are too focused on how they’re going to better themselves as people, who they’re going to kiss at midnight, what the next 12 months are going to hold to focus on.

In my eyes at least, Hogmanay is all about: getting together with family and friends and celebrating the fact that you’ve made it through another year on this increasingly crazy planet. If you set out with the simple aim of enjoying yourself, you will have a much better time. Believe me.

So, when December 31st rolls around this year, clear your mind. A perfect night is nigh on impossible to achieve and trying to get there is only a hindrance. Just go out, get wasted and fucking enjoy yourself. That’s what matters, right?