We humans, love to eat and we love to celebrate with food, from weddings to birthdays to a Sunday family lunch. Whilst our customs might be different, all around the world we celebrate new beginnings, whether that is a new year, a new marriage or a new baby. And while the food we serve to celebrate new beginnings may be slightly different in our own corner of the globe, there seems to be a universal theme in the type of food we eat. We celebrate the new with circular-shaped food.
You turn around, and all of a sudden, you see that something is approaching, moving towards you. You notice a pair of glowing red eyes and discern the silhouette of a creature in the distance, the size of a large dog, or maybe it is a boar? You panic when you realize that the shape is rushing towards you at full speed. When it comes close it becomes clear that it is indeed a big pig, but one with burning eyes, white skin and a sharp back, formed like a sawblade. It runs straight at you and quickly comes between your legs, with the result that it will cleave you in two halves.
First-footing as a New Year custom is most common in Scotland and the north of England, but it does have regional, and international, variations.