Every thing About Scottish Traditions and Customs
The Scottish traditions are a blend of ancient and modern traditions of Scotland. Several changes have been brought about in clothing, food and celebrations.
Traditional food in Scotland
One of the most traditional food in Scotland is the ‘Haggis’. Haggis is made from sheep's pluck. The lungs, heart and liver of the sheep are boiled and then minced. Oatmeal, onion, salt, pepper, spices are added and the mixture is placed inside the sheep's stomach, which is sewn closed. The resulting haggis is traditionally cooked by further boiling for about three hours.
Scotch Pies are round crusty pies filled with minced meat. This is often replaced with offal. Traditionally, the meat used is mutton, although beef is more used presently.
Porridge is a dish made of oatmeal, which is boiled and then cooked in low flame with continuous stirring. Salt is also added for the correct flavor.
Bannocks (or Oatcakes) are barley and oat- flour biscuits baked on a griddle.
Forfar Bridies are oval delicacies which are prepared by making a stiff paste of flour and water and adding a pinch of salt. This is made to a oval shape and is filled with minced beef, suet and onion. This is then brushed with milk and cooked until golden brown.
Cullen sink is a fish soup that is made with smoked haddock and milk.
Christmas pudding is made of suet, spices and brandy or rum. The mixture is then boiled.
Traditions of Scottish
Usually a week before the wedding, the mother of the bride will conduct a ‘show of presents’ for her daughter, similar to bridal shower in other cultures. Female guests will bring presents to help the new couple start their own new home. The presents are unwrapped before the guests. For the groom, there is a wild night party, where the groom and his male friends spend the whole night partying and drinking.
The Scottish bride will wear a traditional or contemporary white wedding gown, while the groom dresses in traditional Highland kilt, kilt jacket and sporran. The couple are either bag piped down the isle or traditional Gaelic hymns are played as they walk to the alter. After the vows, which is recited in ancient Gaelic or modern English, the groom often pins a strip of his clan’s tartan colors to the bride’s wedding dress to imply that she is now a member of his clan. Later on the wedding reception will be held.
One custom that has been followed for more than 700 years is the custom of the groom carrying his new bride over the doorstep of their new home together. This ritual is considered to keep evil spirits from entering his wife through her feet.
Scotland dress mainly features tartan, which are criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colors. There more than 4,000 recognized Scottish tartan patterns. Men wear kilt, sporran, jackets, kilt hose and garters. Women usually wear angle length tartan skirts, which are pleated. The kilt is shorter and has more pleats than the woman's skirt. Tartan sash or shawl may also be worn by women. Gillies are traditional thick soled shoes with no tongues and long laces. The laces are tied above the wearer's ankles. Women too wear Gillies but have thinner soles as compared to that of men’s.
These are the events held through out the year to exhibit Scottish culture and heritage, especially that of Scottish Highlands. Some of the events that take place are bag piping, drumming, dancing and heavy sports like stone throwing, tossing the caber, tug-of-war etc. the heavy sports helped men to exhibit their physical power where as dancing helped woman to show their finery and dancing skills. The Cowal Highland Gathering, which is conducted in Dunoon, Scotland in every August, is the biggest Highland games held in Scotland. There are around 3,500 competitors taking part in the games from around the world.
St. Andrew’s day is celebrated on November 30. It is a popular feast day especially in the village of St. Andrew. The farmers and labourers catch rabbits and hares and would feast and drink. There will be ceilidhs-dances as a part of the celebrations.
Christmas is celebrated similar to other people around the world with Christmas trees, Santa Claus, decorations, presents, carols, Christmas cards etc.
Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26. It is said that many centuries ago the Lord and the Lady would come the manor house and distribute the annual necessities to the workers based on their status and family size. They were given cloths, new tools, food etc, which were provided in boxes and so the day was called ‘Boxing Day’.
Hogmanay New Year is celebrated on December 31. There are several stories behind the origin of the word ‘Hogmanay’. Some say that it is from the night of slaughter when animals were killed to celebrate the mid winter feast. Other notion is that it is from 'Huh-me-naay' or kiss me now when even strangers embraced. Another belief is that it is from the French Hoguinane sung by children on 'Cake Day'. People conduct street parties with fire works and bell ringing. It is considered that if the first person who enters the house in the New Year Eve is a male with black hair, that would bring luck to the family. January 1 and January 2 is also considered as a part of the New Year celebrations. Hogmanay New Year is considered more important than Christmas in Scotland.
Robert Burn’s night is celebrated on January 25. This day is celebrated in the memory of the poet, Robert Burn, who had made a tremendous influence on the people of Scotland. People have Burn’s supper and the ‘Immortal Memory’, a speech in praise of the Bard, is given on this day.
Scotland has very rich traditions and customs and there are so many of them which are not mentioned here. Many people around the world have adopted these customs and traditions.
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