Stores aim to get Scotland first footing again

A supermarket is encouraging people across the country to reignite the heritage of Hogmanay by first-footing their neighbours with a lump of coal.

Customers across all 96 Scottish Lidl stores can pick up free coal with their shopping from today, Saturday 29 December, a symbol of bringing of warmth and wellbeing for the year ahead.

Scotland holds a worldwide reputation for celebrating the Hogmanay and the New Year ahead, bursting with fun and unusual traditions.

From joining hands at the stroke of midnight to sing in Scots language, to swinging balls of fire throughout the streets in Stonehaven, and jumping in icy cold waters of the Loony Dook.

The tradition of first-footing goes back some 400 years to Viking times, and historically has a few key ingredients to bring fortune and luck for the year ahead.

The first person to enter a house in the New Year, is the first foot, could bring luck for the whole year to come. The luckiest of all a tall, dark, and handsome man.

After the stroke of midnight, neighbours visit each other, bearing traditional symbolic gifts such as coal, shortbread and whisky. The visitor, in turn, is offered a dram to toast in the New Year.

According to tradition, to first foot a household empty-handed would be very unlucky, and Lidl has the perfect host of footing gifts to bring to along.

· Limited Edition Ben Bracken 23 year old Speyside whisky (£39.99)

· Deluxe Scottish Selection All Butter Shortbread Fingers (99 pence per pack)

· Favorina Hand Finished Dundee Cake (£4.49)

· Deluxe Scottish Selection Aberdeen Angus steak pie (£7.49)

Lidl has supplied enough coal to first foot 100,000 homes across the country and hopes that everyone will reignite this age-old Scottish tradition.