British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

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14                                    NEW YEAR'S DAY.                         [JAN. I.
ground; all persons present are entitled to eat of it, and those who do not, are not deemed loyal to the lord. Every shepherd is obliged to eat of it, and for that purpose is to take a spoon in his pocket to the court; for if any of them neglect to carry a spoon with him he is to lay him down upon his belly, and sup the furmenty, with his face to the pot or dish; at which time it is usual, by way of sport, for some of the bystanders to dip his face into the furmenty; and sometimes a shepherd, for the sake of diversion, will purposely leave his spoon at home.
In the North Riding of Yorkshire, those who have not the common materials for making a fire, generally sit without one on New Year's Day; for none of their neighbours, although hospitable at other times, will suffer them to light a candle at their fires. If they do, it is believed that one of the family will die within the year.—Gent Mag. 1811, vol. lxxxi. p. 424.
Subjoined is all that appears to have survived of the York­shire Hagmena song ;*
" To-night it is the New Year's night, to-morrow is the day, And we are come for our right and for our ray, As we used to do in old King Henry's day Sing fellows, sing, hag-man, ha!
If you go to the bacon-flick, cut me a good bit; Cut, cut, and low, beware of your maw; Out, cut, and round, beware of your thumb, That me and my merry men may have some. Sing fellows, sing, hag-man, ha!
Tf you go to the black ark, bring me ten marks; Ten marks, ten pound, throw it down upon the ground, That me and my merry men may have some. Sing fellows, sing, hag-man, ha!"
Brand's Pop. Antiq. 1870, voL L p. 11.
In the Memoirs of Lord Langdale by Sir T. D. Hardy, 1852, vol. i. p. 55, occurs the following:
" Being in Scotland, I ought to tell you of Scotch customs; and really they have a charming one on this occasion (i.e. New Year's Day). Whether it is meant as a farewell
* See * New Year's Eve,'
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