Friday, 31 December 2010

Lang may yer lum reek!

In celebration of Hubby’s Scottish heritage, we practice the so-called first-footing in our house. According to old Scottish folklore, the first-foot is the first person to cross the threshold of a home in the new-year. Traditionally it is considered good luck if the first-foot is a tall, dark and handsome male. Fortunately, Hubby is just such a man, so our luck should be secured.
In some places a fair-haired woman is regarded as unlucky. The first time I visited my in-laws at New Year’s Eve it was freezing cold when we were outside watching the fireworks at midnight, but I was not allowed to go back in the house before the proper man had set his foot over the threshold first.

KEEPING TRADITIONS ALIVE. Our family tartan is a nice backdrop for this old Scottish custom. 

The first-foot usually brings gifts with him. In our house it is bread, so that we shall not be hungry in the coming year; salt, so that life shall have some flavour; and pieces of coal, so that we shall always be warm. He hands the gift over, saying the old traditional greeting: Lang may yer lum reek! (Long may your chimney smoke!)

BRINGER OF GIFTS. Even though he is a resident of the house, Hubby can first-foot Hilltop House, just as long as he is outside before the clock strikes midnight. 

In return he is given a glass of whisky. Which is duly appreciated.

SCOTTISH GOLD. The amber fluid "perfected by the sixteen men of Tain" will undoubtedly go down well with Hubby.

We hope that you all will have lots of luck in 2011. Happy New Year!

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