After watching the awesome fireworks display we are usually treated with in our neighborhood, we start each new year off with our favorite First Footer crossing our threshold after midnight.
Yes, it is my gorgeous son - tall, dark and handsome! He walks through the front door with alcohol in hand (traditionally whiskey, but we use whatever we have, which in our case is typically wine!), usually some shortbread and a firestarter. To ensure good luck for the house for the year ahead the actual first footer into a home should be a dark haired male carrying these gifts. The symbolism of these items is:
a lump of coal (firestarter) - for a year of warmth and health
shortbread - for a year of plenty
whiskey (or wine!) - for a year of jollity and not melancholy
My family and any attendant guests then toast the new year with our hopes for what we'd like to see coming our way. My standard toast is Health, Wealth and Happiness!
On the actual New Year's Day itself, we dine on traditional foods of black eyed peas and collards. The peas are said to bring prosperity and the greens money. This year I added red cabbage to the mix.
You can find the recipes here.
For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
May this new year bring your everything you desire!