Monday 26 October 2015

Aller crier san Noué - Calling one's Christmas

Some Jersey Christmas custom information has been requested:

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.

"Noué, Noué, man Noué, s'i' vouos pliaît!"
(Christmas, Christmas, my Christmas [box], please)

Another version is:
"Noué, Noué, man Noué, s'i' vouos pliaît! Un morcé d'gâche sus l'but dé l'ais"
(Christmas, Christmas, my Christmas [box] please - a piece of cake on the end of the shelf/mantelpiece).

This version was used at both Christmas and New Year:
"M's éthiviéthes, m's éthiviéthes, s'i' vos pliaît!"
(My Christmas box, my Christmas box, please).

This version was used more particularly at New Year:
"Ma hodgîngnole, ma hodgîngnole, holà! Du pain dé Noué s'i' y'en a!"
(My "hogmanay(?) gift, my hogmanay(?) gift, hey! Some Christmas bread if there's any).

The expression for doing this Christmas "treating" is "aller crier san Noué" (go calling one's Christmas). Dr Frank Le Maistre notes that the custom seems to have died out in the mid-C19th.

1 comment:

L'Office du Jèrriais said...

In 1954 Philip Ahier wrote in an article:
"I gather that this custom of "Man Noué" still exists in the parishes of St. Clement and St. John"