SHREVEPORT, LA - This is something new for me, but it is very common in south Louisiana, particularly in bayou towns deep in the Louisiana marshes. As we prepare to celebrate the New Year, you might want to make note of this superstition in Louisiana which is called “first footing.”

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What Is First Footing?

It is a traditional New Year’s custom in Louisiana that says the first person to enter your home after the New Year starts is supposed to bring you and your family good luck. First footing started in Scotland and it is also celebrated in Irish cultures, but it is now widely accepted in many Louisiana homes.

Not only does that first visitor bring good luck, but they are also believed to bring you prosperity for the New Year. It’s pretty typical for someone showing up to a home on New Years Day to bring gifts to honor this tradition and superstition. The “first footer” will often bring coins, whiskey or food when they visit family or friends for the New Year.

Legend has it that if this visitor shows up during a festival celebration, the person is selected strategically to represent someone with qualities associated with good fortune.

The first footer is also offered great hospitality during the visit. They are typically served food and drink. The celebrations in Louisiana often includes music and dancing.


If you are not having a big shindig for New Year's Eve, you might want to take note of the first person who visits your home on January 1. This "first footer" could be the one to bring you good fortune in 2024.

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Gallery Credit: Robyn Taylor

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