Kids’ Craic: Traditions and Superstitions!

 Kids’ Craic: Traditions and Superstitions!
by Dottie Wenger

The Irish have several superstitions and traditions related to ringing in a new year.  They include:

  • Many people in Ireland thoroughly clean their homes, put fresh sheets on their beds, and stock up on groceries as December comes to a close, in hopes that doing so will give them a fresh and prosperous start to the new year. In fact, New Year’s Day is sometimes called the Day of the Buttered Bread.  An old tradition suggested that putting buttered bread outside the front door of a home would mean plenty of food in the year to come. 
  • And speaking of bread .. Another Irish superstition involves banging on the doors and walls of the house with bread, perhaps soda bread or Guinness brown bread. This symbolizes chasing bad luck out of the house and inviting good spirits in for the new year.
  • For single folks wishing for a mate, superstition suggests placing a sprig of holly, ivy or mistletoe under their pillow on New Year’s Eve. It’s said that in doing so, they will dream of their future partner.
  • Perhaps the most famous of all traditions is setting a place at the dinner table on New Year’s for loved ones lost the previous year. 

Kitchen Craic:  Build a healthy, yummy “snowman” by using the following:

  • Three Babybel cheese rounds
  • Raisins
  • Small pretzel sticks

Kids can add personality to their snowmen by adding accessories – a hat or a scarf made from Fruit Roll-ups, for example.  The possibilities are endless. 

Literature Corner
There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow! Written by Lucille Colandro and illustrated by Jared Lee
This story is a twist on the familiar tale of the old lady who swallowed a fly.  The book is fun for both the reader and the listener, with its funny illustrations and rhyming text.

Gab in Gaelic
Want to wish someone a Happy New Year in Gaelic?  Here is how:
Athbhliain gaoi mhaise dhuit! (pron. Ah-vlee-on fwee wash-ah gwitch).

*Dottie taught kindergarten and second grade for a total of thirty-two years, and she now handles promotions and marketing for Yorktown Service Plaza in Parma Heights.  She is a baker extraordinaire, and enjoys reading, walking, and being a lifelong learner. 

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