Bledhen Nowyth Da, or Happy New Year, from everyone at The Cornwall! We hope you’ve had a great Christmas break, and are now ready to welcome in 2016!
Are there any particularly Cornish ways to start the New Year? An old custom peculiar to Cornwall is that we’re all meant to sand our front doorsteps on New Year’s Day. Apparently this brings good luck, especially if the sanding is done by a boy (related to the old tradition of “first footing”, where the first person to cross the threshold should be a man, ideally dark-haired).
A contrary Cornish superstition is that you are not meant to let anything out of your house at New Year, in case your luck and prosperity leave with it. As this includes dust, what happens to all the mess left over from the step sanding…? Happily, laundry was banned, lest you “wash your family and friends away” (a great excuse). Likewise, New Year’s Day was a bad day to settle a debt, as it was thought to set the scene for the rest of the year, meaning that you’d owe more money than you’d earn!
New Year wassailing was a tradition in Cornwall, as it was in many cider-making regions. Wassailing was thought to banish evil spirits from the orchards, making sure that the coming year would see a good harvest. The trees were banged with sticks (presumably to drive out any lurking spirits), and a libation of cider was poured on the roots. Bonfires were lit, and the wassilers drank the trees’ health with mulled cider. Away from the orchard, the applewood wassail bowl, filled with mead or cider, was passed round, and the wassailers would go from door to door collecting food, drink or money in exchange for blessing.
A gentler way to celebrate both the New Year and the West Country cider tradition is to join us at The Parkland Terrace for a glass of cider! There you can sit in comfort while you plan your resolutions for 2016…
If like most people your New Year’s resolution is to be healthier or get fitter, why not start as you mean to go on and spend some time inThe Clearing Spa? Follow your spa session with a stroll around the beautiful, wooded Estate, and there you are – all refreshed and ready to start 2016. You could really treat yourself by booking a Spa break with us, a great way to banish the January blues.
We have some great offers to help your money go further, post-Christmas. Until 24 March, stay for three nights and pay for just two. We also have a special “extend your weekend” offer on at the moment.
After the excitement of Christmas and New Year, a few days simply relaxing with us could be just what you need – and we promise we won’t ask you to sand the steps or drive out any evil spirits!