British Popular Customs Present And Past - online book

A calendar of the traditional customs, practices & rituals of the British Isles.

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Dec. 3i.]                     new year's eve.                               509
New Year's Day about the suburbs at the County Down side of Belfast, the boys run about carrying little twisted wisps of straw, which they offer to persons whom they meet, or throw into their houses, as New Year's offerings, and expect to get in return any small present, such as a little money or a piece of bread.
About Glenarm, on the coast of County Antrim, the " wisp " is not used, but on this day the boys go about from house to house, and are regaled with bannocks of oaten bread, buttered ; these bannocks are baked specially for the occasion, and are commonly small, thick, and round, and with a hole through the centre. Any person who enters a house on New Year's Day must either eat or drink before leaving it
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