New Year’s Eve is marked around the globe in spectacular fashion.
Although not as extravagant, the ritual of first-footing, observed in Northern England where I grew up, involves a tall, dark man, bearing gifts, being the first person of the year to cross the threshold and welcome in the New Year.
The popular belief is that the dark stranger at the door is a response to the Viking invasions, when the arrival of a blonde man with an axe usually meant trouble! It’s also commonly thought that the first-footer should bring a lump of coal to ensure warmth in the house for the year ahead.
And… the first over the doorstep can claim a kiss from every woman in the house too – excellent!
With warmest wishes for 2017!