Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Today is a work day for me. The first one in over a week. I can't say that I was chomping at the bit to get back in the harness but here I am.
I received a card from some Scottish friends who wrote about Hogmanay. I had forgotten some of the curious New Year customs but thought they might be appropriate on this day after New Year's day.
The Hogmanay customs include cleaning the house, paying off debts and being sure to clean all the ashes out the fireplace (it was believed by some that you could read the future revealed in the old ashes) -- all symbolic of starting anew. I would like to say that I did these but not a one was done at my house. We did observe the southern tradition of eating Hoppin' John and collard greens yesterday. Those represent Luck and Money, both of which are welcome on any given day.
And there wasn't a "first footer" on New Year's Day at our house either. For this tradition, it is believed to bring luck for the rest of the year if the first person to cross the threshold of your home is a tall dark handsome man. This person, known as a "first footer" arrives after midnight bearing gifts which include a lump of coal, black bun, shortbread and, of course, an ample supply of whiskey...
Well, no one outside the household came in and instead of coal, a black bun and whiskey, we had Hoppin' John and collard greens with cornbread. I think that a "first footer" bringing whiskey isn't my idea of good luck. But it's an interesting old tradition nonetheless.
Hope that your Wednesday is going well. And that the tall, dark and handsome man who crosses your threshold brings suitable gifts for your luck in the New Year.