If you would like to submit a contribution to our Readers Blog section then follow this link. Be sure to include your full name, address and contact number otherwise your submission will not be considered for publication. We will contact you prior to publication.

How many have heard of Cork’s Hansel tradition at New Year?

On the matter of tradition — are you aware of the old Cork New Year custom of ‘Hansel’?

It’s amazing how many Cork-born people who are not familiar with this.

Back in the day, when I was young, my father would give each of us a silver coin for good luck on New Year’s Day. He would also visit our neighbours and hand out coins.

I have kept this tradition alive and extended the tradition to any person I met while out jogging in the early hours of January 1st.

This year, the first person I met was a lady (Cork born) out walking who had never heard of the tradition but gratefully accepted the coin with thanks and a peck on the cheek.

Next was a young man — running strongly up Maryborough Hill — who kindly stopped his watch while accepting the coin.

Next was another Cork-born man, parking his car, who also had never heard of the tradition but also gratefully accepted my wishes with thanks.

I still had two coins remaining so on my way home, I went into a “rest home” and rang the bell.

I declined an invitation to step inside as I was dripping rain but got the message across to the foreign nurse at the door (silver coin — keep for one year — it brings good luck)

I returned home satisfied with a job well done.

I am still amazed each year how many people who are not familiar with this tradition.

We must keep it going.

Michael Moriarty

Rochestown

Co Cork


Lifestyle

I see that a website describes the call of Canarian cory’s shearwaters as ‘waca waca’. It’s a mad, hysterical call, uttered when the parent birds arrive to feed their nestlings.Cory’s shearwaters show long-distance qualities

Is it too much to hope that an important public health matter, such as Lyme disease, will be an issue in the general election? There’s been a worrying reluctance by the authorities to face up to the extent of the disease here.Facing up to Lyme disease

A paper published in Current Biology examines the extinction of a colourful little bird which, until recently, thrived in the eastern US. With the appalling environmental catastrophe enveloping Australia, home to 56 of the world’s 370 parrot species, this account of the Carolina parakeet’s demise is timely.Trying to save the parrot is not all talk

The recent rescue of a trawler 20km north of Fanad Head in Co Donegal gave us a glimpse of the enormous seas that occasionally strike that part of the coast.Islands of Ireland: Inishbeg Island begs the question

More From The Irish Examiner