30 Nollaig 2011

The "First Foot"

A dear friend of mine, Ann Beno, from Dublin Ireland, told me a neat story, a custom really in Ireland. It's called the First Foot. On New Year's Day in Ireland, you have to honor the first person in your door with a slice of fruit Cake and a glass of wine. Nice enough, but that person is traditionally a tall, dark-haired male; a female or fair-haired male are in some places regarded as unlucky. The first-foot usually brings several gifts, including perhaps a coin, bread, salt, coal, or a drink, which respectively represent financial prosperity, food, flavor, warmth, and good cheer.

The first footer can be the owner of the house, as long as it's a male, but he must leave the house before the stroke of midnight, and come back in to be the first foot in the door after midnight. (also dark-haired and fair skinned). This is all to ensure prosperity and happiness in the coming year.

May your first footer come quickly after the stroke of midnight, in order that you can retire and begin this new year all the sooner!