New Year traditions across Yorkshire

Musicians from the Scarborough Spa OrchestraMusicians from the Scarborough Spa Orchestra
Musicians from the Scarborough Spa Orchestra
In Yorkshire, we have our own way of ushering in a new year. We take a look at some of the ways we mark the turning of the year.

Flamborough Fire Festival, New Year’s Eve, from 8pm

The village, near Bridlington, on the East Coast will be besieged by invaders led by King Canute.

Flamborough will be a blaze of celebration with fireballs, fire torches, fireworks and Viking music and drums.

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Flamborough will be a blaze of celebration with fireballs, fire torches, fireworks and Viking music and drumsFlamborough will be a blaze of celebration with fireballs, fire torches, fireworks and Viking music and drums
Flamborough will be a blaze of celebration with fireballs, fire torches, fireworks and Viking music and drums

The festival welcomes everyone and encourages all children, friends and families to take part in the Viking torchlight procession and longship parade

The event will also feature the strongest Viking challenge and a Viking costume competition with prizes awarded to the best-dressed Vikings – children and adults.

Each year the Flamborough Fire Festival is held in aid of local community groups and charities

Tickets cost only £15 which gives you everything or £10 for access to the festival arena and grounds.

New Year’s Day Concerts

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Scarborough Spa Orchestra presents Viennese Whirl at the Spa Complex on New Year’s Day at 3pm.

All the pieces will be from composers who found fame and fortune in Vienna, and the most important of these is Johann Strauss. His famous Blue Danube Waltz will feature as will one his liveliest and best-known pieces, the Thunder and Lightning Polka.

Franz Lehar’s tunes from the Merry Widow will close the afternoon.

Tickets: 01723 376774

New Year Gala Concert, Harrogate Royal Hall, Saturday January 7 at 7.30pm.

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The National Festival Orchestra will take you on a whirlwind tour of bygone opulence and visit the cafes of Vienna, the bars of Paris and the drawing rooms of London – and some Gilbert and Sullivan as well.

Tickets: 01422 323252

Say it out loud

Just as the clock is about to strike midnight on New Year’s Eve, the legend goes that you should say “black rabbits, black rabbits, black rabbits”. Then, as the clock chimes 12, say “white rabbits, white rabbits, white rabbits”. This is said to bring good luck.

New Year’s Days Dip, Scarborough

Dippers on South Bay beach take part in the dip organised by Scarborough Lions. Registration for the event opens at 10.30am and takes place at the Scarborough Lions minibus, which will be clearly signposted. Fancy dress judging will happen at 12.30pm, and the dip will start at 12.45pm.

There are prizes for the best team costume, the best overall single costume and the best child aged under 11 costume.

Ringing out

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It is a York tradition to gather around The Minster at midnight to listen to the bells chime in the New Year.

Tug of war

Another tradition on New Year’s Day is the tug of war between East and West Ayton villagers over the River Derwent. The battle starts at 11am.

Apple pie order

At Hutton Conyers, near Ripon, there was an elaborate New Year’s Day ritual

At the annual meeting of the manorial court of Hutton Conyers near Ripon, the shepherds representing local townships came before the Lord of the Manor’s steward and bailiff to obtain their grazing rights for the coming year.

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Each shepherd brought to court a large apple pie, about 16-18 inches in diameter, a two penny sweet cake – except for one shepherd who provided ale instead – and a wooden spoon.

First footing

It is believed that the act dates back to the days of the Vikings, when a blonde-haired man arriving heralded bad luck. It is considered good luck to walk out the back door and in through the front door but you must start the journey before midnight, arriving at the front door as midnight strikes Leaving and entering by the same door are frowned upon.

The act is known in Manx Gaelic as Quaaltagh and similar traditions take place across Europe. The earliest mention of it taking place in Hull was on New Year’s Day in the year 1895.

It was said that the act had been witnessed across Hull and was a popular superstition in the North.

Money matters

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In Driffield, in East Yorkshire, one custom which is still practiced today is 'penny scrambling’.

Coins or sweets are thrown into the air and collected by children. This was traditionally accompanied with the rhyme “Eere we are at oor town end, a shoulder o’ mutton an’ a croon ti spend.”