Hogmanay Celebration in Lawrenceville Tonight

Wood for the Hogmanay bonfire in Lawrenceville tonight.
Wood for the Hogmanay bonfire in Lawrenceville tonight.

The Lawrence Historical Society will celebrate Hogmanay tonight at the Brearley House from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Parking will be offsite at the Prism complex on Lenox Drive. Enter the lot at the light on Princeton Pike and Lenox Drive.  Follow the signs and attendants directing traffic to one of the rear lots, where you can either walk a lighted trail to Brearley House or board a shuttle bus. Food will be available for sale onsite by Captain Paul’s Firehouse Dogs.

The Hogmanay bonfire will take place in the Great Meadow behind the Brearley House and will be lit promptly at 6 p.m. by fire master Tom Ledwidth. A bagpiper will be onsite to entertain the crowd and the house will be open.

A tradition for the Lawrence Historical Society since 1997, the bonfire began as a way to showcase the Brearley House while it was being renovated and proved to be so popular it has become an annual event.

Hogmanay is a Scottish New Year’s celebration that has it roots in pagan traditions. It is the main winter holiday in Scotland and includes many Christmas-like features, such as gift giving. The most important aspect of any Hogmanay celebration is cleansing for the new year. Cleansing includes paying off old debts, washing the home, and banishing thoughts of bad happenings from the previous year. Other traditions include the banging of pots at midnight to ward off dark spirits, banishing stray dogs to keep evil at bay, and firstfooting – a tradition of visiting friends and relatives at midnight to bring them good cheer to start off the new year.

At the Lawrence celebration, you can create a list of all the bad things you want to forget about 2013, bring it to the fire, toss it in the flames and watch it burn.