Handsel Monday – anyone?


My Dad e-mailed me earlier to say it was Handsel or Handselling Monday. It’s not something I am very familiar with but he grew up with the tradition as a child. His mum was from Manchester and apparently Handsel Monday was something recognised there.

The notion of Handsel Monday is that on the first Monday of the year you give a money gift (a coin of some sort) to your child(ren) to bring good luck. My dad recalls much excitement in his household. There were seven children so I’m sure it was no mean feat just after Christmas! All seven are still all here and well so there must have been some luck!

I don’t recall the tradition growing up (but maybe we did!?!).

Might just start the tradition in my house today – a nice legacy from a great grandmother my kids didn’t get to meet.

Is there anyone out there celebrating today? Let me know what you do in the comments!



  1. That’s a new one on me but I like it, will try it out. Have heard of handseling when giving someone a gift of a purse or wallet or knives (apparently), but I didn’t know it had its own day. Trying to think of something nice to do today to mark Nollaig na MBan … Maybe just a nice meal (cooked by me:0( ) and the last round of mulled wine.
    Thanks for sharing this one!

  2. Yes I think it is related to giving purses etc! It’s apparent always the first Monday in January – guess it has just fallen same day as Nollaig Na Mban this year!

    I’ll give my lot a few symbolic coins to mark it! Kick off the tradition. Am sure it will be paper money before I know it!


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