One of my female cousins lived right across the street from my grandmother and the two were very close, but on January 1 my grandmother never let her great-niece visit until a male relative had come in the house first. I was relieved when I found out that many others in the world have the same custom. It wasn’t something my superstitious grandmother had made up. There’s actually a name for this custom of welcoming the first male guest on New Year’s Day. It’s called first-foot.
Memories and stories like these are fun to share, especially in an ESL classroom. What traditions are followed in one’s family or one’s country? Where did these ideas come from?
Perhaps you’d like to try a fun activity on the first day you meet with students in the New Year. Let me help you prepare. Please take a look at my New Year’s around the World_handout in PDF. (Or if you prefer a Word document, then use this copy: New Year’s around the World_handout.) A little preparation now will allow you to breeze into the first class in January!