FROM WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
In Scotland, Handsel Monday or Hansel Monday is the first Monday of the year. Traditionally, gifts (Scots: Hansels) were given at this time.
Among the rural population of Scotland, Auld Hansel Monday, is traditionally celebrated on the first Monday after January 12. This custom reflects a reluctance to switch from the old (Julian) style calendar to the new (Gregorian) calendar.
The word “handsel” originates from old Saxon word which means “to deliver into the hand”. It refers to small tips and gifts of money given as a token of good luck, particularly at the beginning of something; the modern house-warming gift would be a good example. An 1825 glossary marks Handsel Monday as an occasion “when it is customary to make children and servants a present”. On this day, tips of small gifts were expected by servants, as well as by the postman, the deliverers of newspapers, scavengers, and all persons who wait upon the house.
In this respect it is somewhat similar to Boxing Day, which eventually supplanted it. If the handsel was a physical object rather than money, tradition said that the object could not be sharp, or it would “cut” the relationship between the giver and the recipient. The day is known in Scottish Gaelic as Diluain Traoighte (drained Monday).
The custom was also known as “handseling a purse”. A new purse would not be given to anyone without placing money in it for good luck.[failed verification] Money received during Handsel Monday is supposed to ensure monetary luck all for the rest of the year.
The period of festivities running from Christmas to Handsel Monday, including Hogmanay and Ne’erday, is known as the Daft Days.
According to Scottish custom, the first Monday of the new year was the time to give children and servants a small gift, or handsel. Literally something given into the hands of someone else, the gift itself was less important than the good luck it signified. The handsel was popular as a new year’s gift from the 14th to 19th centuries, but it also had a broader application to mark any new situation. It continues today in the form of a housewarming gift to someone moving into a new home.
Question of the Day
I have an old hibiscus tree indoors. It’s in a cool room and gets indirect sunlight. It now has started to drop leaves and hasn’t bloomed for months. I only water it when it gets dry. Do you think I need to repot it?
Our hunch is that your plant isn’t getting enough light. One half-day of direct sunlight from a bright east or south window is best for promoting flowering and keeping leaves green and healthy. Another problem could be insects. Check the bottom side of the leaves and the stem. Hibiscus will tolerate a broad range of temperatures (60°–90°F), but may not flower if too cool. Fertilize every other month with a fertilizer high in potassium (K). Vegetable fertilizers work well. Repotting certainly won’t hurt, but that probably isn’t the problem.—Gardening experts George and Becky Lohmiller, Hancock, New Hampshire
Advice of the Day
You should know a man seven years before you stir his fire.
Home Hint of the Day
Use peanut butter as bait for your mousetraps. You can reset the traps and catch several mice before you need to add bait.
Word of the Day
Pieces of old cable or old cordage, used for making gaskets, mats, swabs, etc., and when picked to pieces, forming oakum for filling the seams of ships.
Puzzle of the Day
Why did the lion spit out the clown?
Because he tasted funny.
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