It's party night of the year

FOR many, Hogmanay is the biggest party night of the year.

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Businesses are gearing up to welcome revellers at Hogmanay
Businesses are gearing up to welcome revellers at Hogmanay

Weeks of preparation go into deciding where to go, who to meet and what to wear.

But first up, before the festivities even begin, it's time for the ritual of getting on your glad rags and heading out to get your hair done.

The Rainbow Room, in Glasgow's George Square, has more than 100 Hogmanay bookings for customers who want a party style for the big night.

Salon director Yasmin McMail said: "Hogmanay is undoubtedly one of the busiest days we have all year as Glaswegians love to get glammed up for the occasion.

"Our clients mainly want blow dries and party up dos - we will certainly go through a few bottles of hairspray throughout the day.

"It's one of my favourite days of the year in the salon as there's such a buzz. Everyone is excited about the night ahead and there's always amazing Glaswegian banter."

Yasmin, 36, from Bishopbriggs, said the busy day won't stop her team from letting their hair down in the evening.

She said: "After we close the salon at 8pm, we'll all enjoy a glass of fizz before styling one another's hair for the evening ahead.

"We are used to being on our feet all day so that won't stop us from letting our hair down."

Playing his part in the entertainment on the big night is piper Andy Melvin.

The 62-year-old pipe major with Williamwood Pipe Band has been organising the final rehearsals before he and his team plays at George Square as part of Hogmanayday from 3pm until 5pm.

Andy, of Netherlee, said: "Glaswegians love to celebrate Hogmanay and there are always lots of requests on New Year's Eve for Auld Lang Syne and Scotland the Brave.

"These two songs are definitely the most requested from those feeling patriotic and celebrating on the dance floor.

"Playing bagpipes is wonderful and we always look forward to playing together especially at Hogmanay.

"It always makes me a little nostalgic and I take time to think about the great events we have played at throughout the year."

Naveed Rashid is the owner of popular traditional Scottish restaurant Arisaig in Merchant Square.

Hogmanay is one of the busiest nights of the year for his restaurant and staff are readying themselves to serve a five-course banquet for 120 guests.

The front of house staff will be kilted up in the Commonwealth tartan as they welcome in the year of the Games.

Naveed said: "I love the atmosphere at New Year in Glasgow. Nothing beats it - it hardly feels like you are working.

"We try to make working on Hogmanay as enjoyable for the staff as possible.

"We all stop for a break at midnight and often the staff and the guests end up dancing together and jointly singing Auld Lang Syne."

HE said the most popular drink sold in the restaurant on Hogmanay is champagne and most male diners request a wee dram for the bells.

This year will be the first time the restaurant has offered a banquet and they will be serving up roast pheasant, honey roast vegetables, potato rosti and berry jus or venison steak with red cabbage mash, celeriac puree and gin jus.

Naveed added: "Glaswegians love to be sociable and a banquet really lends itself to that.

"On Hogmanay especially, we find that the guests like to mix.

"They move around the tables and make new friends."

After the bells have sounded and the bottles begin to run dry, it's time to call the carriages.

Most people make their way home by taxi, making it the busiest day of the year for the drivers.

But Jerry Cullen, 58, said he still tries to make time to get home for half an hour and celebrate with his wife and a cup of tea before heading back out to get people home.

Every year he brings in the bells with a different person who happens to be on the move then the clock strikes.

He said: "Working at Hogmanay is manic but that's what I love about it.

"There is such a buzz about the city and everyone is so excited to celebrate the year past and a new year ahead.

"I don't think there's anywhere else like Glasgow at Hogmanay - everyone is in such good spirits and there's always a good few laughs.

"I always wonder who I'll be celebrating with at the bells.

"I am such a chatter box and I love to ask customers what their resolutions are for the year ahead.

"Half way through my shift I like to go home for half an hour and celebrate with my wife and a quick cup of tea."


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