The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #87654   Message #1638662
Posted By: Tradsinger
01-Jan-06 - 06:39 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: Good Luck for the New Year
Subject: RE: Folklore: Good Luck for the New Year
Here's the variant from (Old) Hampshire, which my family have kept up - the usual thing, the first person across the threshhold has to be male and dark. (I qualify on one of those counts and used to count on the other!) He brings with him a matchbox containing a piece of bread, a silver coin and, in the old days, a lump of coal, for which we have substituted a match. The matchbox goes into a drawer and stays there for the year, ensuring that the household has food, money and fuel for the coming year. This was done in Hampshire and is still done by my cousins there and by me in Gloucestershire.

When we moved to Gloucestershire in '72, we were told of a New Year custom whereby the children of the area went from house to house, in by the front door and out by the back, and chanted the following rhyme (we found several versions of it):

Buff Blow, God send farewell
Every spring and every spray
A bushel of apples to give away
On New Year's Day in the morning

Buff blow, fare well
God send you e'er well
Apples to roast, nuts to crack
A barrel of cider ready to tap
On New Year's Day in the mornng

The old year's out, the New Year's in
Please open the door and let us in
On New Year's Day in the morning

This custom was carried out in the early morning 'before people went to work' in the days before New Year's Day was a public holiday here.    It was kept up until the 1960s.

I'd be interested to hear of other variations.

Happy New Year to you all.