100-500

  • Beltane Festival

    Beltane is an ancient Gaelic holiday celebrated around 1 May, historically celebrated in Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man. It is a fire festival that celebrates the coming of summer and the renewed fertility of the coming year.The festival survives in folkloric practices in these nations (and the diaspora), and has experienced a degree of revival in recent decades, not only in the British Isles, but also in countries further afield such as the USA. The word Beltane is thought to have derived from a Gae... 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

  • Callander Highland Games

    This is a two day Highland Games which includes strongest man competition, women's caber tossing. police tug of war, dog show and battle re-inactments ... 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

  • Greenock Philosophical Society

    The Greenock Philosophical Society has held an annual series of lectures on cultural and scientific subjects since it was instituted in 1861. Since 1876 these lectures have been held each autumn and winter in the Watt Hall of the McLean Museum and Art Gallery, Greenock. Since its inception many famous cultural and scientific figures have lectured before the Society such as Lord Kelvin, Professor Joule and Oscar Wilde. The lectures are open to members of the Society and to members of the public for a small f... 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

  • Jedburgh Ba' Game

    The ba' game is essentially a form of street football, some of the action taking place in the streets around the market place shown in the picture above. Today the game is played at Candlemas and Easter E'en by two opposing teams. The ancient ball game known as 'Jethart Hand-ba', popular throughout medieval Scotland, supposedly derives from the Jedburgh men playing with the heads of English soldiers. The traditional ball game, which has been played in the Border town for 250 years, pits the Uppies (resident... Read More

  • Kirkwall Ba' Game

    One of a small number of such games still existing in Scotland, the Kirkwall ba' game takes place twice a year: Christmas Eve and Hogmanay. Its historical origins are unclear, but, in essence, it is a game of mass-football, played up and down the streets of the town centre, of the type that was once quite common in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK. It pits the 'uppies' against the 'doonies' (or 'up the gates' against 'down the gates'). The ba' itself is a hand-made, cork-filled leather ball. The allegieanc... Read More

  • Marymass Irvine

    Marymass is a festival in Irvine, dating back to the Middle Ages, the modern version of which dates from the 1920s. It was originally associated with the Virgin Mary (rather than Mary Queen of Scots, as is often supposed). The modern version, organised by the local council and Irvine Carters Society, features many activities around the town, and established a Marymass Queen with her 'four Marys' (who are the queen's ladies in waiting- this part does seem to consciously refer back to the time of Mary Queen ... Read More

  • Masons' Walk at Rosehearty

    Natives of Rosehearty are drawn back to the town for this annual march, doubling its population for the day. 100 to 150 Masons take part, mostly from the local Masonic 'Lodge' but with representatives from other Lodges. The 'Walk' starts from the Lodge and progresses along the route through the town's streets arranged in order of: the March 'Marshall' and Director of Ceremonies followed by the bible bearer with sword bearers, the Pipe Band,junior and senior Deacons, ordinary Lodge members then Lodge Office-... Read More

  • Paisley Philosophical Institution

    Founded on the 13th October, 1808, Paisley Philosophical Institution has included many educated and professional people of the Paisley area, including doctors, ministers, lawyers and businessmen. Their aim was to continue to educate themselves, and other people of the town, by lectures, the collection of scientific books and by forming a museum collection. Their first lectures covered scientific subjects such as botany, anatomy and physiology and electricity. Over time the range of lecture subjects became m... 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

  • St Ayles Skiff

    The 'St Ayles Skiffs' is a design commissioned by the Museum from renowned boat designer Ian Oughtred and are made from a plywood kit. It was inspired by the traditional Fair Isle Skiff. These reasonably priced kits can be purchased from Jordan Boats, partners in the project, with the Museum earning a royalty from each kit sold. Each skiff requires a team of four rowers and one coxswain to complete a full crew with each rower taking one oar. The 'Chris o' Kanaird' was the prototype boat built by Jordan B... Read More

  • Stone Skimming Championships, Easdale

    The World Stone Skimming Championships were started in 1983 by Albert Baker, and then lay fallow until they were resurrected in 1997 by the Eilean Eisdeal (The Easdale Island Community Development Group) as a fundraising event. Easdale Island is the smallest permanently inhabited island of the Inner Hebrides. It was once the centre of a thriving Scottish slate mining industry, and one of the disused quarries forms a perfect arena for the World Stone Skimming Championships. The championships are held ever... 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

  • Wallace Day

    The life of William Wallace is commemorated every year in August on the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of his death. The day starts with a march from Johnstone to the site of his birth in Elderslie beside the monument. A wreath is laid at the monument and there are speeches celebrating his life. The day ends with a ceilidh in the village hall. Sir William Wallace was born around 1270. He rose to prominence in the late thirteenth century as a leader in Scotland’s first war of independence with Edwa... Read More

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