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First Foot Day

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

First Foot Day

When: Always January 1

The custom of firstfooting, or being the first to cross the threshold of a home in the early hours of New Year's Day, was so popular in England and Scotland during the 19th century that the streets were often more crowded between midnight and one o'clock in the morning than they would normally be at midday. If the "First Foot," traditionally a man, was to bring the family luck, he had to arrive with his arms full of cakes, bread, and cheese for everyone to share. He should be dark-haired, not fair, and must not have flat feet.

Now I know why I'm so unlucky! emoticon

Today the custom may still be observed in Britain and in scattered areas of the United States.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    We first footed in England in my childhood .

    All the dark haired males would go out in to the street carrying in their pockets

    A piece of coal -to bring warmth to the home.

    A piece of silver usually a coin.- to bring in prosperity.

    Be ready for kisses as he walks over the stoop (DOORSTEP) That brings in love.

    There would be a siren in our town to signify Midnight and right after midnight the streets were mostly empty. Younger men would go from door to door trying to be the first footer and get a kiss and a drink. of wine usually. Beer was in pubs not in homes at that time.

    Never heard of cakes bread and cheese in our time. My gran was the house to go to and that was our big deal night. Coal , silver, kisses and a short or wine.
    She did that in her childhood too. I was never in bed on new years eve we always got to hug the first footer. Gran was born in 1870,and her family did it that way then too.Pat now in Maine.
    1994 days ago
  • PMAY0313
    1994 days ago
    I was first to cross my threshold. Wonder what that means?
    1994 days ago
    I wonder if this custom is related to "putting your best foot forward".
    1995 days ago
    sounds like an interesting foreign custom
    1995 days ago
    Thanks for posting this.. I love to hear about the traditions and ol' customs. Have a great day !!

    Jan emoticon
    1995 days ago
    interesting. how did they know about flat feet back then.

    i love your "day" stories. keep them up emoticon
    1995 days ago
    1995 days ago
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