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  • 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

  • Black House Renovation

    The 'Black House' is a style of house that used to be common in certain parts of Scotland, particularly in the Hebrides and parts of the Highlands (and also in Ireland). Their construction is characterised by double wall dry-stone walls packed with earth and wooden rafters covered with a thatch of turf with cereal straw or reed. Perhaps inevitably, most dwellings fell into disrepair as people moved into more modern housing. However, recent years has seen a trend towards restoration of many of the original h... Read More

  • Burning of the Clavie

    A pagan fire festival called the burning of the clavie is held on 11 January each year, except when the 11th is a Sunday, in which case it takes place on the 10th. The event starts when the Clavie is lit on Granary street at 18:00 and normally ends by 19:30. The tradtion, dating back to at least the 17th century, occurs on this date because, following the adoption of the gregorian calendar,the 'Auld Yuil' [al il] (Old Yule) was therefore celebrated 12 days after the 1 January and the clavie burning was on t... Read More

  • Burry Man of South Queensferry

    The Burryman or Burry Man is the central figure in an annual procession which takes place on the second Friday in August in South Queensferry, north of Edinburgh, on the south bank of the Firth of Forth. The custom is associated with, but separate from, the town's Ferry Fair. The meaning and origins of this ceremony are now unclear. The Burry Man himself is a local man almost completely covered, as the image illustrates, in sticky burrs, leaving only the shoes, hands and two eye holes exposed. On the day, h... Read More

  • Edinburgh Festival

    The Edinburgh Festival is a collective term for various simultaneous arts and cultural festivals which take place during August and early September each year in Edinburgh. These festivals are arranged by a number of formally unrelated organisations, meaning that there is no single event officially termed the Edinburgh Festival. The oldest festivals are the Edinburgh International Festival, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, both of which started in 1947. Other more recent additions include the Military Tat... 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

  • Edinburgh Mela

    Mela is a sanskrit word meaning ‘gathering’ and is used to describe festivals in the Indian subcontinent.The Scottish Mela festivals are multicultural arts festivals that, while having their roots in South Asian culture, can now best be seen as celebrating wide diversity of cultural life in Scotland, featuring dance, music, crafts, food and fashion, not just from South Asia, but from all over the world. There are two annual Mela festivals in Scotland: one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh. Edinburgh Me... 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

  • Glasgow Mela

    Background : Mela is a sanskrit word meaning ‘gathering’ and is used to describe festivals in the Indian subcontinent.The Scottish Mela festivals are multicultural arts festivals that, while having their roots in South Asian culture, can now best be seen as celebrating wide diversity of cultural life in Scotland, featuring dance, music, crafts, food and fashion, not just from South Asia, but from all over the world. There are two annual Mela festivals in Scotland: one in Glasgow and one in Edinburgh. ... 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

  • Golden Spurtle Competition

    The annual World Porridge Making Championships take place in Carrbridge, a small village in the Invernessshire. The competition (organised by the Carrbridge and Vicinity Community Council) in its 17th year will take place on 'World Porridge Day', Sunday 10th October 2010. For more information on the event go to the Golden Spurtle website at http://www.goldenspurtle.com/. Watch an excellent short film of the 2009 Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship (Carrbridge Films) at http://www.youtube.com/c... Read More

  • Guising

    Guising is the term given to the Scottish/Irish Halloween tradition of children going from house to house in the neighborhood in disguise (hence the term) and collecting food treats from the neighbors. The Scottish tradition of 'guising' can be traced back to Samhuinn where people would use masks and decorations to disguise themselves and scare away evil spirits. Also see Hallow'een traditions ... Read More

  • Hallow'een

    allowe'en (Halloween ), celebrated on October 31 derives from the Celtic festival Samhuinn. Children go around peoples' houses (traditionally in costumes or fancy dress), asking for sweets or money although some still (voluntarily or otherwise) perform a song, dance or tell a joke in order to deserve the householder's contribution. Money used to be saved towards buying fireworks for another celebration on 5th November, Guy Fawkes Night. American influence and marketing in recent years has seen this incre... Read More

  • New Year - coastal/sea

    In coastal areas, both boats in harbour and tankers offshore sound their horns at midnight to mark the start of the New Year on 31st December. This is also marked by the ringing of church bells (such as those of the Tron Kirk in Edinburgh's High Street or Royal Mile) onland. ... Read More

  • Orkney Yole

    The Orkney Yole is a small boat, possibly of Nordic ancestry built, primarily, for cargo-carrying duties. According to the Orkney Yole Association website, the yole may vary in length from about 13' to 22', but is more generally about 18' long by 7' or 8' of beam and draws about 2'. Variations occur according to the builder but there are two main categories - the North Isles Yole and the South Isles Yole. While the yole was once a central part of the economic life of Orkney, this has- perhaps inevitably- be... Read More

  • Ploughing March and Festival of the Horse

    The South Ronaldsay Boys' Ploughing Match and the Festival of the Horse This is an agricultural festival tradition - believed to be unique to Orkney - which dates back to at least the early 19th century but may have its roots in Viking times. This is a festival for young boys and girls from the island of South Ronaldsay, one of Orkney's south isles. There were similar festivals elsewhere in Orkney - particularly in the island of Stronsay (in which the "horses" were attached to the plough) but this is the... Read More

  • Samhuinn

    Samhuinn was an ancient Gaelic harvest festival, marking the arrival of winter. An annual event on Edinburgh's Royal Mile reimagines and celebrates what was a highly significant event in the ancient Celtic calendar. An important element of Samhuinn was the belief that this time of the year was a liminal zone where the barrier between the lands of the dead and living was less distinct than during the rest of the year.... Read More

  • Shetland Knitting

    The Shetland Island council has for years (decades) promoted and taught traditional knitting of the Fair Isle to the primary school(24) pupils of Shetland. This activity has recently become fragile due to the Shetland Island Council deciding to cut the the budget that allows for 14 knitting teacher to pass on the traditional skills and patterns. Knitting has been a main part of the arts and crafts economy of Shetland dating back to the introduction of sheep on the island in the 9th century by Norse settlers... Read More

  • Stonehaven Fireball Festival

    "The Fireballs" – as the event is known locally - takes place once a year in Stonehaven down the East coast from Aberdeen and is the main feature of the town’s Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve, 31 December) celebrations. Around fifty participants parade up and down the High Street of the Old Town from the Mercat Cross near the harbour to the Cannon at the west end, swinging fireballs around their heads watched by a mixture of locals and, nowadays, people visiting the town specially to witness the event. The o... Read More

  • The Shetland Yoal

    The Yoal, often referred to as the Ness Yoal, is a small sailing craft (clinker built) used traditionally in the Shetland Islands. It is designed primarily for rowing, but which also handles well under her traditional square sail when running before the wind or on a broad reach. Until about 1860 yoals were imported from Norway, from Hordaland, the area around Bergen, in kit form, and local boat builders followed to Shetland to put them together, but increasing customs duty meant that local builders took ... Read More

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