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by Michael Le Quesne
THERE is an old Jersey custom where at Christmas time, groups of the poorer children of country parishes would go from house to house shouting "Noué, Noué; man Noué si vouos pliaît!" and would be given food and money. That is Jerrais for "Christmas, Christmas, my Christmas gift, please".
According to L'Office Du Jerrais, there are a number of versions of this. Another version is "Noué, Noué, man Noué, s'i' vouos pliaît! Un morcé d'gâche sus l'but dé l'ais" which means "Christmas, Christmas, my Christmas gift please - a piece of cake on the end of the shelf".
But at New Year, children would say: "Ma hodgˆngnole, ma hodgîngnole, holà! Du pain dé Noué s'i' y'en a! which means "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"- to go calling one's Christmas. Dr Frank Le Maistre notes that the custom seems to have died out in the in mid-19th Century.