Drink

  • Aberlour Highland Games

    Taking place on the first Saturday of August, is Aberlour Highland Games. Set in an idyllic setting, on the banks of the Spey, in the beautiful little village of Aberlour, the Games attract more than 5,000 visitors annually. An afternoon celebrating all things Scottish. Including the usual Heavy Weight events, Track & Field, Highland dancing, and performances from a number of pipe bands. You can even take part in a 'Haggis Hurling Competition' Great day out for all the family. ... Read More

  • Bonspiel

    A bonspiel is a curling tournament (curling: two teams of four players compete by ‘throwing’ two granite curling stones each). It is traditionally held on a frozen loch (lake) and can last 2 or 3 days over a weekend. As a result of milder winters and the requirement that the ice should be at least 7 inches thick for safety reasons, these outdoor games now rarely take place. The word may be a combination of both Scots and Gaelic - ‘spiel’ is northern European (to which Scots is related) for ‘play... Read More

  • Burns Supper

    A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and work of the poet Robert Burns. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet's birthday, 25 January, sometimes also known as Robert Burns Day or Burns Night (Burns Nicht), although they may in principle be held at any time of the year. Burns Suppers are held across the world. Burns suppers are most common in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but occur across the globe wherever there are Burns Clubs, Scottish Societies or expatriate Scots. Burns suppers may... Read More

  • Cockenzie and Port Seton Gala

    Cockenzie and Port Seton Gala day is held annually on a Saturday at the end of May/beginning of June. Floats carrying fancy dress contestants and local Primary School children selected to be ‘the court’: ‘Queen’, ‘Ladies in waiting’, 'Queen’s Escort’ and assorted followers. All move off in a parade through the villages of Port Seton and Cockenzie starting at the Port Seton Centre. The first stop on the route is to lay a wreath at the local war memorial on the green. The parade then contin... Read More

  • Eaglesham Fair

    This biennial fair seems to have its origins in several fairs and shows dating back to the 17th century. In 1672, after a successful petition to the Scottish Parliament by the 8th Earl of Eglinton, an act was passed authorising a yearly fair on the 24th April as well as a weekly market in the kirk toun of Eaglesham. The kirk toun was gaining in importance as the centre for a scattered community of around 126 ferm touns. The act mentions that Eaglesham was an ideal place for a fair and market due to the f... Read More

  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe

    Since it started in 1947, as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival, 'The Fringe' has grown to become the world's largest arts festival. The festival covers a wide range of arts, including theatre, comedy, dance, physical theatre. opera and others. The Fringe runs for approximately three weeks in August.... Read More

  • Ferry Fair Edinburgh

    As the fair's website states, Queensferry’s annual Fair has been held in its present form since 1930, when it was revived after some years of absence as a regular event. But its roots date back even further for permission to hold the event was originally granted by King Charles 1 back in the year 1687. The Fair is a week-long event and is organised primarily as a festival of sports and entertainments for the children of the burgh, culminating in the crowning of a Ferry Fair Queen who is chosen from the ch... Read More

  • Finnechty Cup

    "Finnechty cup" is an expression that comes from the area on the Moray Coast in the North East of Scotland surrounding the village of Findochty, "Finnechty" being the local pronounciation of Findochty. Apparently, it was the perception of the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages that the folk in Findochty were rather ungenerous when pouring out a cup of tea! Hence the saying came into being and any cup of tea anywhere which was not deemed to be full enough was referred to as a fine "Finnechty cup". I... Read More

  • First-footing

    A First foot (or 'fit') is the first person to enter your house or cross your threshhold after midnight on 31st December or Hogmanay. Traditionally a dark-haired man (or even a coalman) was thought to bring good luck, but anyone can be your first foot and you can be anyone else's. Again traditionally, when first-footing, you should take a lump of coal (fuel), whisky and Black Bun (sustenance) to the household. ... Read More

  • Glasgow West End Festival

    Starting in 1996, the West End Festival has grown to become a two week long celebration of music, comedy, drama, outdoor theatre and many other activities in the city's West End. A collection of photographs from the 2009 festival can be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/garlies/sets/72157619704317203/... Read More

  • Glasgow's Travelling Showpeople Community

    " Travelling Showpeople opened Glasgow's first cinemas, operated the rides and stalls at the annual Kelvin Hall Winter Fair and Glasgow Green. As the winter base for over 80% of Scottish show families, Glasgow has the largest concentration of Showpeople in Europe. Yet the unique traditions and histories of this tight-knit community are still unknown to most of the Scottish public." The quote above was taken from a publication that was produced as part of the Fair Glasgow project. This project was initia... Read More

  • Haggis, Neeps and Tatties

    Haggis is a tradtional Scottish dish containing sheep's offal (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in the animal's stomach for approximately three hours (although nowadays haggis tends to be simmered in a casing rather than the stomach). It is often considered to be the national dish of Scotland, and is memorialised in Robert Burns' poem Address to a Haggis. Originally a modest dish ensuring no part of the sheep goes to... Read More

  • Hawick Common Riding

    Hawick is the first of the Border Common-Ridings or festivals commemorating the custom of riding the boundaries of each parish or ‘march’. It also commemorates the townsmen’s capture of an English Flag in the early 16th century. The main Riding part of the festivities takes place over a Friday and Saturday in June. The lead figure is an elected ‘Cornet’, a young local man who carries out several ‘ride-outs’ in the area over the weeks preceding the main ‘common riding’ event with his suppor... Read More

  • Hen Nights

    Females about to be married are sometimes dressed up by their female work colleagues in a Bridal veil, balloons, flowers, streamers and "L" plates, and traditionally made to carry a chamber pot full of salt (sometimes with little dolls and other tokens stuck in) paraded through the streets to invite kisses from male passers-by (traditionally for a donation of money into the ‘potty’). This is still done, but has more commonly turned into a night-out for the prospective bride, her female friends and relat... Read More

  • Hogmanay

    Hogmanay is the Scots name for New Year's eve. The tradition of seeing out the old year and welcoming in the new has, in cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh, been adopted and transformed in recent decades to the point that 'Hogmanay' is now often associated with these huge public type of 'events' with firework displays. However many older non-commercial public events take place around Scotland e.g. the Stonehaven Fireball Festival or Comrie Flambeaux. Prior to the recent 'Edinburgh's Hogmany' festiva... Read More

  • Johnstone Festival

    This festival originated in the late 1800s, and today is a fun day out, free of charge, for the local area. A 'queen' is chosen by local people voting in a competition run through the local newspaper. Duties of the queen are to declare the festival open, visit all stalls in the park and also oversee the stage productions. There are vintage fire engines, community stalls, organised games, and a full programme of musical acts performed by music groups, school choirs, dance groups etc. And last but not least, ... Read More

  • Scotch Collops

    Scotch Collops are a traditional Scottish dish; the term 'collops' means 'thin slices of meat', and is derived from the French 'escalope'. The dish can be created using either thin slices or minced meat of either beef, lamb or venison. To prepare the dish, the meat slices are combined with onion, salt, pepper, and suet, then stewed, baked or roasted with optional flavourings according to the meat used. It is traditionally served garnished with thin toast and mashed potato.... Read More

  • Scottish High Tea

    Normally served between 3-7pm, which is available in some hotels in Scotland. The meal offered varies from location to location. Usually it consists of toast/bread/rolls served with each course, soup or similar starter, main meal (fish or steak pie is common), a choice of puddings and then a huge plate of biscuits, cakes and fancies served on a cake stand. Tea is served throughout the meal. ... Read More

  • Sma' Shot Day

    Sma' Shot Day is one of the oldest workers’ festivals in the world. Sma' (Small) Shot Day celebrates the historic victory of the weavers over their employers in 19th century Paisley and has developed into an annual celebration of arts and culture. The Sma' (small) Shot itself was a cotton thread which bound all the colourful weft threads into the warps of the celebrated shawls. The shot was, however, undeen in the final product, and consequently the manufacturers refused to pay for it. The workers, the... Read More

  • Stag Nights

    These have generally deteriorated into simply a night-out to mark the husband-to-be's 'last night of freedom' as a single man. Those taking part are the prospective groom, his male friends and male relations. It can still often involve dressing up (often of everyone concerned - see understated T-shirt approach in photograph above) when traditionally only the groom was humiliated on the night through Blackening. Stag nights can now stretch to entire weekends away or short trips abroad.... Read More

  • Tradfest

    Each year Edinburgh is home to Tradfest TradFest celebrates Scotland’s May festivals – Beltane and Mayday – which traditionally mark the beginning of summer, bringing energy and colour to the capital city as the greening of the year breaks out. Venues include Calton Hill, the Royal Mile, The Pleasance, the Scottish Storytelling Centre, Filmhouse, Queens Hall, Summerhall, George Square Theatre and Dance Base. The TradFest Trail highlights craft shops, galleries, pub sessions, instrument makers, book... Read More

  • Tranent Gala Day

    The gala, featuring music, games, stalls and displays, traditionally occurs at the beginning of June in the East Lothian town of Tranent.... Read More

  • Wedding Cogs

    Wooden wedding cogs are vessels from which ale is consumed at Orcadian weddings. These cogs have long been a prominent feature of island weddings, and remain a prominent feature today. The exact mixture which now goes into the cog varies with every wedding, as each family tends to have its own views on the correct recipe. Despite the family variations, the base ingredients of this potent alcoholic mixture are usually hot ale, gin, brandy and whisky mixed with sugar and pepper. Traditionally, there were best... Read More

  • Wedding Shower

    Wedding Shower or 'Showing of Presents: one night during the week/s immediately before a wedding the bride and her mother host a party for female friends and relations invited to the wedding. Guests bring wedding presents/gifts to the mother’s house where they are opened by the bride and put on show by mother and daughter along with cards saying whom each gift is from. ... Read More

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