Friday, January 01, 2010


It appears back in the 1930s and 1940s it used to be a Brigg tradition to invite someone into your home as the first visitor of the New Year - always a dark-haired man carrying a lump of wood, rather than coal.
Anyone remember that custom for bringing good luck?

1 comment:

Ken Harrison said...

Don't know about Brigg's customs in the 30 and 40's, but 'First Footing' was very common in other parts of the UK...and perhaps still is, particularly in Scotland.

As you say, Nige, the First Footer should be male and dark-haired (wimmen and fair-haired folks were considered unlucky).

In its purest form the First Footer should not enter in the house before midnight. (again unlucky)

He should be carrying:
1. Coal (or tinder wood) for warm,
2. Salt (or money) for wealth,
3. Food for sustenance, and
4. Drink (alcholic) for good cheer.

The tradition, and I'm making a educated guess, may take its custom from a Ancient Greek tradition of a female (representing Mother Nature)carrying gifts and crossing the threshold at the start of a new year.

For info: 'Threshold' derives it name from the practical solution of keeping and confining straw (thresh), used as floor cover.
The 'threshold' was the plank of wood placed at floor level to keep the thresh (straw) inside the house.

I still use's cheaper that carpeting the house and one gets use to the smell in time!!