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  • Choosing It

    Below are two examples of traditional playground games in East Renfrewshire: Choosing It When playing a game where one person needs to be 'it' or 'on' a chant or rhyme in combination with pointing is often used to make the selection random and therefore fair. Ingle-angle All players put one foot in the middle, toes touching. The person calling chants: Ingle-angle-silver-spangle-ingle-angle A B C D… and so on through the alphabet. For each word or letter they touch... Read More

  • Comrie Flambeaux

    As the bells ring out on Hogmanay people line the streets of the Perthshire village of Comrie to watch their annual procession welcoming in the New Year. A pipe band leads marchers carrying flaming torches (made of long thick birch poles with tarred rags tied to the top) who are followed by the fancy dress parade. At the end of the proceedings the torches are thrown over the Dalginross Bridge into the River Earn (traditionally believed to cast out of evil). Everyone then gets on with another more widespread... Read More

  • David Macbeth Moir wreath laying ceremony

    A wreath laying ceremony is undertaken annually by The Old Musselburgh Club to mark the birth of Musselburgh man, David Macbeth Moir. This takes place on the Sunday nearest to the actual date of 5th January. Members of the Club attend a religious service in each of the Musselburgh churches in a yearly rotation after which they gather at the statue where a tribute is read by their President. Poet and physician, David Macbeth Moir, was born at Musselburgh in 1798. Moir, hailed locally as a genius, starte... Read More

  • Fishermen's Superstitions - Cockenzie and Port Seton

    While fewer of the younger generation of fishermen adhere to these, some still feel it is bad luck to mention certain birds, fish and animals either on their boats,at home, or at all. In the fishing villages of Cockenzie Port Seton near Edinburgh these include swans, salmon, pigs and rats. Instead, fishermen will refer to a 'red fish' (salmon), a 'curly tail' (pig) and a 'long tail' (rat). One man in Port Seton was overheard asking the shop assistant in the local 'store' for matches and "not the ones wit... Read More

  • Ganseys

    The navy blue wool Gansey sweater, along with navy blue trousers was the traditional ‘uniform’ of fisherman in the Cockenzie and Port Seton villages of East Lothian and in many other fishing communities around Britain. There are variations in pattern – families often handing down their own pattern through the generations, mother to daughter - but many featuring traditional motifs such as rope. Wives incorporated in each sweater an element unique to each so that they could identify bodies washed ashore... Read More

  • Herring Queen Festival

    Eyemouth’s local Herring Queen Festival takes place in July every year. Started ‘to celebrate the end of the First World War’ it also ‘aims to symbolise the ideals as well as the everyday things associated with the life of a fishing community’ and developed out of the older Peace or Fisherman's ‘Picnic', an annual celebration which ‘came to be looked upon as a local holiday for the fishermen of the town and all connected with their calling. The Festival in modern times focuses around local chi... Read More

  • Islay Pipe Band

    The Isle of Islay in the Inner Hebrides has a long tradition of pipe music. For almost two decades, the Islay Piping Society has been a significant feature of this longstanding musical heritage. Although history shows the formation of a pipe band in the early 1950’s, it wasn’t until 1992 that islanders decided to start the current Islay Pipe Band, which was then formed and registered with the Royal Pipe Band Association in Glasgow. The band - which holds regular weekly practices- plays at numerous local... Read More

  • Paisley Burns Club

    Paisley Burns Club was founded on January 29, 1805, and claims to be the oldest formally constituted Burns Club in the world. Formed by a group of enthusiastic Paisley men, mainly weavers and including Robert Tannahill, the Paisley poet, its primary purpose was to celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns and cherish his memory in other ways. The club’s membership, traditionally all male, following Burns’ Bachelor Club format, has included many influential and notable local men as members and honorary m... Read More

  • Paisley Hammermen Society

    In 1658, Paisley Town Council first granted a charter making it possible for the trades people of Paisley to form societies. The purpose of these societies was to protect their trade and exclude strangers from carrying on the trade within the town’s boundaries. The Paisley Hammermen Society was established in 1761. Its membership was open to various tradesmen employed in a wide range of trades including ironmongers, saddlers, engravers, shoemakers and watchmakers. Membership also appears to have extend... Read More

  • Scramble

    The‘scramble’ or ‘poor-oot’ (pour out) is a tradition related to weddings. As newlyweds drive off from the church after their wedding ceremony the groom (or husband) throws handfuls of coins out of the car window. Children then ‘scramble’ in the street to grab the scattered money. Presumably this originally symbolised the new husband sharing his ‘good fortune’ and demonstrating his happiness? There may be similar traditions or different names for this custom in different parts of the country... Read More

  • St Andrews University - Pier Walk

    On Sundays during term time when the Chapel Service ends at around 12 noon, students wearing their gowns - mainly but not exclusively red flannel undergraduate gowns with velvet yokes - process along North Street to the pier (near the harbour) led by the members of the University Chapel Choir. They walk along the lower part of the pier to the end and, if they are brave, return along the high part. ... 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

  • 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

  • Temperance Flute Walk

    'The Walk' - 3 days of temperance walks - is held every year at the Buchan Rathen coastal villages of St Combs, Inverallochy and Cairnbulg in the North East of Scotland. Local walkers, led by flute players and people playing drums and triangles, have been carrying out this tradition for 160 years. The first couple to walk behind the flute band is the oldest man of the village with a female partner, followed by other walkers. Once one village has been ‘walked’ walked round the walkers get on buses and wa... Read More

  • The West End Callans Association

    The West End Callans Association was founded in the late 1860s as a charitable association whose purpose was “....to make life a little easier for the deserving poor, particularly the old and helpless”. Assistance could be in the form of gifts of coal, goods, sums of money, or any other form determined by the Committee of Management. Only those who had been born in the West End of Paisley or who had lived there for more than twenty years qualified for assistance. The geographical area covered by the ... Read More

  • Tig

    Tig is a tradtional children's game in which one player touches another, then runs off to be pursued and touched in turn. Basics: One player is ‘it’ (sometimes pronounced ‘het’) and they must touch another player (tig them). When It tigs another player the person who has been tug is now It and must tig someone. You usually need to call out 'tig' when you tig somebody. Extra rules: • Designated places are den. When you are in or touching Den you cannot be tigged. Den could be a wall, all walls, ... 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

  • Wedding-Horseshoes

    It is traditional for the newly married bride and groom to be presented with a horseshoe, directly after they have exited the wedding venue, as a symbol of good luck. In some families the tradition is for the horseshoe to be presented by the youngest wedding guest. The horseshoe given now is usually a symbolic horseshoe made from plastic, cardboard or similar light weight material, rather than an iron horseshoe made by a blacksmith. ... Read More

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