Friday, 1 January 2016

Ma hodgîngnole! - My New year present!

Ma hodgîngnole, ma hodgîngnole, holà,
du pain d'Noué s'i' y'en a!

My New year present, some Christmas bread if there’s any

An old Jersey custom was for (poor) children to go round houses in the neighbourhood at Christmas and New Year, begging for a gift of food (rather like trick-or-treating at Halloween nowadays, only with not even a hint of a trick). There were traditional rhymes that went with doing the rounds.

In mainland Norman aguignette is a small present given to children at New Year (or otherwise a type of New Year tart).

In Guernésiais, the New Year gift-begging also had the name of oguinane. Métivier wrote a poem on the subject:

Mn oguinane
J'vou souhaite une bouane annaïe,
Man grandpère et ma grandmère:
Gu vous doune une bouane allaïe,
Un bouan long soume au chimkère!
Mes hirvières ! Mes Hirvières!

Man parrain et ma marraine,
Mn onclle Jean, ma tante Auriane,
K'vot maison seit terjous pliaine —
Haleux, frumine jute et canne!
Mn oguinane! Mn oguinane!


Bouanne Année!
Happy New Year!

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