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Essential items for your "first-footing" experience
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It's traditional in Scotland to go "first-footing" on Hogmanay, a wonderful excuse to go out visiting friends and partying all night, but certain things are essential to make your New Year go with a swing.
Here's our pocket guide....

Hawf (half) Bottle
Your most important travelling companion. For it's traditional - and polite - to offer just about everyone you see a "dram". It's also traditional for it to be whisky. Though in these more cosmopolitan times, it could be anything alcoholic.

Lump of Coal
In days of yore never mind the whisky, it was traditional for First Footers to carry a lump of coal with them. This was lovingly placed on the host's fire. If you're determined to do Hogmanay by the book then take the coal by all means but be prepared for some grief when you set it on top of the central heating radiators!

Toasts
Not pieces of carbonised bread in case of hunger pangs on your New Year yomp, but the good wishes you bestow on Hogmanay gatherings.

A simple and appropriate one is:
A guid New Year to ane an a' And mony may ye see

(A good New Year to one and all And many may you see)

The more jingoistic may offer:
Here's tae us. Wha's like us. Damn few, and they're a' deid!
(Here's to us. Who's like us. Not many, and they're all dead!)

Depending on the type of gathering you are attending you may hear other "toasts". They could be:
Gaun yoursel', Big Man!
(You're a big chap, drinking a lot and are going to continue to do so!)

Gie it laldie!
(Party furiously!)

Map
An absolutely essential item. Not to make sure you get home again - rather to make sure you don't! Have it all marked up with the best parties and bashes so you don't miss a jig!

Six Pack
Not so much in case the whisky runs out. More in case your party spirit runs dry. Then it makes a handy seat on the pavement while you await that elusive taxi home. However, should you be actually taking it to drink then make sure it's "good quality" Jocko Brew, hand it over generously to your hosts and quickly find something more palatable.

A Tall, Dark Handsome Stranger
The first person to cross the threshold at Hogmanay brings all the luck, good or bad, for the year ahead. And, to follow in tradition they have to fulfil certain criteria.
They have to be male, tall, dark and handsome. They cannot be doctors, ministers or grave-diggers (!) - oh, and your first footer cannot have eyebrows that meet in the middle! If you do find a first footer that fits the bill (for remember, we Scots might be handsome but, as a race, we're not renowned for our height) then hang on to them - you could make a packet!
P.S. Being a First Footer is great because tradition dictates you can claim a kiss from every lady in the place! XXXXX!

Hangover Cure
This isn't part of your First Foot Pack as such, more something you'll need as dawn breaks the following morning with a thunderous bang in your heid! We only have two suggestions - take to a darkened room or keep partying.
Seriously, we'd be very interested in your hangover remedies and we'll display the best so other can benefit from your hard-earned wisdom.

     
     
     
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