New Year’s Day Rituals


highland cow

What will you be doing today?

Many of us have plans for New Year’s Eve – or Hogmanay, as we call it – but almost as many of us have things that we do every New Year’s Day. Apart from sleeping in, that is.

First-footing used to be a big deal up here. Visiting friends or relatives and bringing gifts to signify prosperity in the year ahead, it was considered good luck in Scotland for a dark-haired male to be the first over the threshold. Some folk speculate this was because the only visiting blonde men back in earlier days were Vikings, whose visits were never good news! Which also makes sense considering the Swedish tradition sees a blonde male being the best first visitor of the year.

Let The Cow Decide

Apparently there was once a British tradition to produce a flat cake on January 1, and place it on the horns of a cow. This would happen in farmyards around the country, whereupon folk would sing and dance around the cow until it threw the cake off. If it fell forward it was to be a good year – if behind, the outlook wasn’t so good.

In Spain, some people will eat 12 grapes as the bells toll – one at each toll – to bring good luck for the 12 months ahead. While in America’s southern States, it’s quite common to eat a stew made of black-eyed peas called Hoppin’ John, as the peas symbolise prosperity.

New Year Cheese

This year, it’ll be a brief spell of quiet before we launch into our anniversary celebrations, so we’ll be making the most of the days off. A short walk and a visit to the famous Cheesy Toast Shack on the coast of Fife is our plan, and we’re looking forward to it. Simple pleasures!

Do you have any traditions for the first day of the year? Let us know in the comments below or through the usual means!

All the very best from us here in the “Friend” for 2019!

Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.

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