Weeks ago Mr. Ray told us of a New Year’s Eve tradition from northern England that seems to be dying out here. The tradition of “First Footing”. During New Year’s Eve friends would travel to each other’s homes hoping to be the first to cross the threshold after the stroke of midnight. They would come bearing gifts of coal (so the house would not know cold), a silver coin (that the occupants may not know poverty), and sometimes salt (to flavour life), and perhaps a loaf of bread (that the occupants not know hunger). Sounds a bit like the scene from “It’s a Wonderful Life” doesn’t it? Mr. Ray had told us of the silver and the coal the rest I found doing some on-line investigation.
So last night precisely at the stoke of midnight we crossed the threshold of Mr. Ray’s house bearing a silver coin, snacks and a representative piece of “coal”. He greeted us warmly, glad that we had revived this tradition of north England, and bid Rob to cross the threshold first. Apparently the first person to cross should be a tall dark haired man.
We enjoyed a carol for the New Year and a good time of fellowship and refreshments. The kids came already in their pyjamas and could hardly stay awake so we had to journey on back to our house. We were glad to welcome in the New Year among new friends. We are thankful for friends and family near and far away as we journey into 2014.
Happy New Year!!!!!