First footing

How to make a New Year luck bag for first footing.

First get or make a drawstring bag. The simplest way to make a bag is to get a square of cloth, place the items on it, take the corners of the cloth in your fingers, twist the cloth into a neck, and tie the ribbon around it.

A piece of coal (or wood) so that you’ll have enough fuel for heating throughout the year.

A leaf of holly (or other evergreen) so you’ll have luck throughout the year.

Some money, so you’ll have money throughout the year.

A piece of bread, so you’ll not go hungry throughout the year.

Place all the items in the bag.

The bag should be brought over your threshold by the first person to set foot in your house after midnight. This person is called the First Foot, and is traditionally a man with dark hair.

This is a Scottish tradition but it seems to be fairly widespread.

You can keep the money and the coal for next year’s bag, but replace the bread and the holly each year. I usually add a bit more money each year.

Keep the bag in whatever you consider to be the heart of your house (kitchen, hearth, airing cupboard, furnace…)

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