Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A week of holidays and gatherings! Day 3

Scotland has a tradition that I have fallen in love with every since I read about it in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. It is called First Footing.

First Footing is exactly as it sounds. As the bells ring in the New Year shortly after midnight, the first person to step over a homes threshold will determine the homeowners luck of the year.

Ideally, the person should be a man and of dark complexion. (I have heard that if the visitor is twins, then the luck is doubled, but I could not prove this.) This dates back to the 8th century when the Vikings attacked Scotland. A blond visitor is a bad omen. The visitor should bear gifts which include whisky, coal, salt, a coin, and black buns (a spice cake).

Apparently, there is a lot of celebrating going on, for in Scotland, January 2nd is also considered a holiday! Sounds good to me!

I think that this tradition is so exciting. To be the person going around spreading cheer and love in the hopes that crossing someone's door step will bring them good luck. Or to be the person, who opens their door to find the dark stranger bearing gifts. This is a tradition I would like to see happen all around the world.


  1. I remember reading about this in the OUTLANDER series. It IS a great tradition.