Scotland.org refers to Auld Lang Syne as
… one of Scotland’s gifts to the world, recalling the love and kindness of days gone by, but in the communion of taking our neighbors’ hands, it also gives us a sense of belonging and fellowship to take into the future.
Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns collected portions of old lyrics and in 1788 created one of the most famous poems ever set to music.
As part of Burns’ collection, Wikipedia.org refers to the first verse and chorus of “Old Long Syne,” a ballad James Watson wrote in 1711.
Because it is quite similar to Burns’ finished product it is very likely both originated from the same old song.
From Scotland to the world
Singing Auld Lang Syne as the clock strikes 12 at midnight on New Year’s Eve, or Hogmanay, is a tradition that has spread from Scotland to the English-speaking world, and beyond.
How to sing Auld Lang Syne
At the beginning of the last verse, everyone crosses their arms across their breast, so that the right hand reaches out to the neighbor on the left and vice versa. When the tune ends, everyone rushes to the middle, while still holding hands.
Every year on January 25 Scotland celebrates the life of Robert Burns with special food and drink and singing of Auld Lang Syne.