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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
NSC Help: Hogmonay (8) Hogmonay 21 Dec 99


This request is addressed to Scottish Catters or their descendants.

I am extremely interested in a rhyme relating to the ancient tradition of First Footing at Hogmonay.

My father used to bring with him A piece of coal, some salt, some sugar and a bottle of Scotch Whiskey. Armed with these goodies he would visit a neighbour or friends when he knew that nobody else would have crossed the threshold in the New Year and thus he would be the first foot over the threshold. He used to recite a rhyme which signified the reasons for the gifts, i.e. Coal for warmth, salt for flavouring, sugar for sweetness and a drop of New Year spirit.

The tradition was that every adult would have a drink from the first foot bottle. My father would then collect the remnants of the bottle and head for his next conquest usually with the first friends in tow. They would proceed to the next house where the same tradition was followed. They always ended up footless at about 4a.m. (in need of new first feet).

Anyway, what I am looking for is the rhyme. It is fairly urgent as I only have access to a computer until tomorrow at 5p.m. Irish time (12 noon East coast USA). Any help would be appreciated.

George Henderson


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