Saturday, 2 January 2010

A New Year's Eve Party

I've celebrated New Year in various cultures and for many years!  As a child we saw it in at home with friends and with games and Mum playing the piano whilst we all sang.  It was much the same when I was in my teens as Scriptor has reminded me in his posting New Year's Eve.  When my wife and I moved to the Outer Hebrides of Scotland it became clear that New Year could be an all night event - if one let it.  For many years a group of us met at our house for the New Year's Eve celebration.  After that things became a bit random and it's been like that ever since - for the past 20 years at least.  I'm not one for people -  inevitably more drunk than sober - calling at 3am and staying until dawn.

The one thing most celebrations had in common in England and Scotland was 'first footing'. In British Folklore, the first-foot is the first person to cross the threshold of a home on New Year's Day and a bringer of good fortune for the coming year.  The first-footer must not be in the house at the stroke of midnight in order to first-foot (thus going out of the house after midnight and then coming back in to the same house is not considered to be first-footing). The first-foot is traditionally a tall, dark-haired male; a female or fair-haired male are in some places regarded as unlucky.

The first-foot usually brings several gifts, including perhaps a coin, bread, salt, coal, or a drink (usually whisky), which respectively represent financial prosperity, food, flavour, warmth, and good cheer. In Scotland, first-footing has traditionally been more elaborate than in England, and involving subsequent entertainment.

It is many many years since I took any notice of first-footing and even longer since I made a New Year's resolution.

Anyway last night Wendy and Martin had a party.

Everything's ready - now we just sit and wait
Party venues don't come much better than this
A few of the gathering after midnight

The fire brought warmth and focus

At 3 am I decided that enough was enough.  By 3.30 am I was in bed and asleep.


  1. Never heard of that tradition of first-footing! Interesting; thanks for sharing.

    Garden party at New Year... Looks fantastic! - but of course totally unthinkable in Swedish climate...

    On the morning of New Year's Eve we had -15 C here!

  2. What a beautiful, luscious setting behind a welcoming table. I really am in love with New Zealand.

    Like the tradition to welcome in the New Year...sounds like so much fun!

    Love, blessings and good health to you :)

  3. Gb, Happy New Year, looks a very civilised do. Nobody crawling round your floor!!

  4. You're right, hard to beat that venue! I'm not superstitious at all, but I like the idea of first footing. I usually try to have all of my bills paid on new years eve, the thought being, however it is on NYE, is the way of the new year. So maybe I'm a little superstitious!
    Interesting, my word verification is my son's name. This must be good luck!

  5. I never heard of first-footing before and I love the notion! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Great setting for a New Year party, GB. Looks like it was a bit cooler than the usual summer evening in NZ. Love the photos of the fire, maybe warmth is a symbol of the year to come.

  7. Oh, yes, I am with all who have commented on the setting being so lovely!!! How perfect!
    Happy New Year!