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In parts of Northern England and in Scotland the old custom of First-Footing is still observed. Tradition says that the first person to enter a house on New Year's Day should be a dark-haired man, otherwise ill-luck will follow. It is also advisable that the person should bring with him a gift - a piece of coal, a fish, a bottle of whisky or a piece of bread are traditional gifts. Curiously enough, in a few other parts of the country, the First-Footer is required to be a fair-haired man! In the past, young men of the right colouring and with an eye to business would offer their service as First-Footer to households in the district - for a small fee.

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