Winter solstice, Hogmanay and the Loony Dook
We are fast approaching the shortest day or winter solstice, when we have short days and long nights. This year in Scotland the shortest day is on 21st December and marks the time when the days start to get longer again and the nights shorter. At this time of year festivals of rebirth and renewal are common, which is why Scottish people are enthusiastic about celebrating New Year or ‘Hogmanay’ as it is known here.
Throughout Scotland people go ‘first footing’ just after midnight on January 1st and visit their family and friends bringing with them the traditional lump of coal and bottle of whisky. The people of Stonehaven, near Aberdeen celebrate with a fireball ceremony, while some brave (or crazy) people take part in the ‘Loony Dook’ just outside Edinburgh at South Queensferry. This involves taking a plunge in the freezing waters of the Firth of Forth to get rid of the old year and welcome in the new year.
Whatever you do over the next few weeks, ECS Scotland wishes you a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
News from the school
Some of you may remember that we had our British Council Accreditation inspection at the end of August, when two inspectors visited the school to check that we provide a good and comprehensive service to our students and staff. We have now received our report and are happy to say it was a good one, with our strengths noted in the areas of quality assurance, publicity, premises and facilities, learning resources, academic staff profile, course design, care of students and accommodation. You can check out the report here.
Words in the News
They must be ‘Dasher’, ‘Dancer’, ‘Prancer’, ‘Vixen’, ‘Comet’, ‘Cupid’, ‘Donner’ and ‘Blitzen’. Can you guess why?
Keep on studying English in 2014 and let us have your snippets of news too.