The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #87654   Message #1638693
Posted By: Azizi
01-Jan-06 - 08:15 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: Good Luck for the New Year
Subject: RE: Folklore: Good Luck for the New Year
From reading Mudcat threads, particularly this one Mudcat Thread on Santa Claus customs I learned about Santa Claus' associate, Black Pete {Black Peter".

In that thread CapriUni referenced a book that provided the theory that Black Peter's skin was black because he was the slave to "the Holy Smith who tended the sacred fires of life, and his face was blackened with soot".

Also in that thread I speculated about the connection of Black Pete's skin being blackened with soot" to the European tradition of blackening up for Morris dancing or otherwise traditional revelry.

I am now expanding that question to wonder if Black Pete could be the origin of the European custom of "First Footin" {a custom I just learned about last nite via the Internet}.

For an example of this belief, I'm providing an excerpt from this website: Edible Bean New Years Eve customs

"In my country [Great Britain], it's called first footing. Dead coals are brought to the home on New Year's Eve by the first foot, who in tradition is supposed to be a tall dark man. He is the first to step through the door at midnight on New Year's Eve, to bring luck to the house for the following year. The coal is kept by the woman of the house through the year. and burned on the fire the next New Year's Eve. The first foot gets a drink, a kiss, and food -- not a bad return on a piece of coal."


BTW, that website contains a number of posts from folks all around the world and also includes a recipe for black eye peas!


Happy New Year!


In searching the Internet for New Year's Eve customs, I happened upon Anc