Christmas in Ireland: New Year’s Day
In past times New Year’s Day wasn’t much celebrated in Ireland. On New Year’s Eve, however, many people employed folk charms to ward off hunger in the coming year. Some recommended eating a big meal on New Year’s Eve to set a pattern of consumption for the new year. Others suggested knocking a loaf of bread or a cake against house or barn doors, and reciting a bit of verse that welcomed happiness and plenty and rejected hunger and want. Firstfooting, another old New Year’s custom, is still practiced in Ireland. In recent years the government made New Year’s Day a holiday. Now, more and more people celebrate New Year’s Eve by staying up late, drinking, and going to parties.