The Question:

What does "auld lang syne" actually mean?

The Answer:

"Auld lang syne" is Scottish. The literal translation would be "old long since"; idiomatically, it means "times gone by." The song traditionally sung on New Year's Eve actually has several stanzas. You can read them all and find out much more about New Year's traditions from around the world in our New Year's Traditions article.

—The Fact Monster