Christmas In Ritual & Tradition - online book

The Observance Of Christmas In Various Lands And Ages.

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NEW YEAR'S DAY
swaddle themselves in a great sheet, doubled up in front BO as to
form a vast pocket, and then go along the streets in little bands, calling out " Hogmanay " at the doors of the wealthier classes, and expecting a dole of oaten bread. Each child gets a quadranl ol oat-cake (sometimes with cheese), and this is called the " H< manay." Here is one of the rhymes they sing :—
"Get up, goodwife, and shake your feathers, And dinna think that we are beggars ; For we are bairns come out to play, Get up and gie's our hogmanay ! " 33
The word Hogmanay—it is found in various forms in the northern English counties as well as in Scotland—has been .1 puzzle to etymologists. It is used both for the last day of the year and for the gift of the oaten cake or the like ; and, as we have seen, it is shouted by the children in their quest. Exactly corresponding to it in sense and use is the French word aguillanneuf, from which it appears to be derived. Although the phonetic difference between this and the Scottish word is great, the Norman form hoguinane is much closer. There is, moreover, a Spanish word aguinaldo (formerly aguilando) = Christmas-box. The popular explanation of the French term as au-guy-l'an-nruj (to the mistletoe the New Year) is now rejected by scholars, ami it seems likely that the word is a corruption of the Latin Kalendae.,A
A few instances of aguillantteuf customs may be given. Here are specimens of rhymes sung by the New Year qucteurs :—
" Si vous veniez a la depense, A la depense de chez nous, Vous mangeriez de bons choux, On vous servirait du rost. Hoguinano.
Donnez-moi mes hoguignettcs Dans un panicr que voicy. Je l'achctai samedy D'un bon homme de dehors ; Mais il est encore a payer. Hoguinano." 35
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