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  • Aberdeen Rowie

    The buttery, which is also known as a rowie or Aberdeen roll, is basically a bread roll, characterised by a flaky texture and buttery taste. They are often eaten toasted with jam/butter As the alternate name of Aberdeen roll suggests, butteries are a speciality of Aberdeen but they are actually common throughout the North East of Scotland and can be found in Elgin. They were created in the 1880s, to provide the growing Aberdeen fishing industry a type of high-fat roll which would keep for longer perio... Read More

  • 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

  • Arbroath Smokies Angus Culinary Traditions Year round

    Arbroath Smokies are a particular variery of smoked haddock. They originated in Auchmithie, a small fishing village a few miles north of Arbroath. The smoking technique is similar to one used widely in Scandinavia, which indicates probable Scandinavian origins of the villagers Tradtionally, the fish was smoked in halved barrels with fires underneath, trapping the smoke under layers of hessian sacking. With the decline of local fishing industry at the start of the 20th century, much of the local population ... Read More

  • Black Bun

    Black bun is a type of fruit cake that is baked within a pastry crust. It was originally eaten on Twelfth Night but now enjoyed at Hogmanay. The cake mixture typically contains raisins, currants, almonds, citrus peel, allspice, ginger, cinnamon and pepper.... 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

  • Celtic Connections

    Celtic Connections is a music festival, showcasing a broadly ‘Celtic’ style. The types of music include modern Celtic rock, dance, big bands, choral performances, international folk superstars, and theatre, as well as traditional pipe bands and ceilidhs. The festival started in 1994 in Glasgow and is now held there every January. In terms of participation, the first festival was launched in just one venue, the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, attracting around 35,000 people. In 2008, approximately 120,000 pe... Read More

  • Chinese New Year

    The Chinese community in Scotland, originating from both Mainland China and Hong Kong, numbers just over 10,000 people with the most significant population in Glasgow. Charing Cross and Garnethill are two areas of Glasgow that have become Scotland’s Chinatown. Like other Chinese communities worldwide, the Scottish Chinese have their own New Year celebrations, which have now become a significant feature of the Scottish winter cultural calendar, particularly in Glasgow and Edinburgh. Organisations such as t... Read More

  • Clapshot

    Clapshot is a traditional Orkney recipe of tatties (potatoes) and swede (yellow turnip) and may be served with haggis, oatcakes, cold meats or sausages. Clapshot is sometimes called Clapshaw or Orcadian Clapshot. Further afield, clapshot is a traditional accompanyment to haggis.... Read More

  • Comet Festival

    The Comet Festival takes place in Port Glasgow once a year to commemorate the launch of the Comet. The Comet was the first passenger carrying steamship in Europe. The festival has been part of the Port Glasgow community since 1986 when a group of local people were looking for ways of restoring some pride in the area in an effort to lift morale in the community. This lead to the idea of putting on an event where the community could get involved and enjoy came about. Originally intended to be a one day event,... Read More

  • Common Ridings / Riding of the Marches

    Several towns of the Scottish Borders (and other areas in the south of Scotland) have festivals related to the historical tradition of ridng a town or Burgh's boundaries. Todays festivals attract many visitors, but most of the lesser ones only started in the 1930s and later and are not actually 'Common Ridings'. The Common, often gifted to the burgh by the King of Scots, had to be ridden on a regular basis to ensure that no neighbouring barons had breached the boundaries. These were not, like today, stone w... Read More

  • Dragon Boat Racing

    Four boats raced at part of series of events, organised as part of China Now in Scotland, which raised funds to support the Tayside Chinese Community Centre and Dundee Chinese school. There are many Dragon boat races that take place throughout Scotland. On May 30th 2010, Consul General Tan Xiutian attended the Dragon Boat Race at the invitation of Dumfries and Galloway's Provost, Jack Groom. The event was organised by the city Council and Rotary Club with strong support from the local Chinese Community. (so... 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

    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 Jazz and Blues Festival

    Since it started in 1978, the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival has become a major fixture of the city's summer season, attracting the largest audience of any jazz festival in the UK. There are now over 100 concerts during the festival, covering a wide range of jazz and blues forms. ... Read More

  • Egg rolling at Easter

    Method: using boiled eggs, wait until these have cooled down, and then paint. The decorated eggs are then taken to a gentle hill (or other appropriate place) and "rolled". The rolling of the egg symbolises the rolling away of the stone from Jesus' tomb at Easter. Although as a kid and from years of experience with my own children the symbolism is lost as they munch though a mound of chocolate. Our local hill is always littered with eggs and shells and serves as a feast for the local wildlife. Chocolate ... 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

  • Fish supper

    The 'Fish Supper' consists of fish (commonly haddock in Scotland) deep fried in batter with chips purchased from a 'Chip shop'. It is traditionally served wrapped first in brown paper, then in newspaper in order that the food should retain its heat on the customer's journey home. This is more than a foodstuff in Scotland - it is truly a tradition. The traditional question from the Chip Shop proprietor to the customer on serving the delicacy: 'Anyhin oan it?' can be met with the reply,'Sauce an salt' i... 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 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

  • Glen Cinema Memorial

    GLEN CINEMA PRIOR DEMOLITION c 1930 The cinema (opened in 1901), known as 'The Glen' and 'The Royal Animated Pictures' once formed part of the Good Templar Halls (now occupied by Burton's shop). On the afternoon of 31 December 1929, during a children's matinee, a freshly shown film put in its metal box in the spool room began to issue thick black smoke. Soon the smoke filled the auditorium containing about one thousand children. Panic set in. Children ran downstairs so fast and in such numbers, that t... Read More

  • Gourock Highland Games

    The first Gourock Highland Games was held on Saturday 21st July 1956 to celebrate the official opening of the new playing fields at Gourock Park. The Games were presided over by Chieftain Colonel Duncan Darroch, Laird of Gourock. Eight pipe bands competed and the West of Scotland Highland Dance Championship, which is still held in Gourock Park today, was instituted, with fifty-three dancers taking part. Other events included a 14 mile road race, adult, junior and schools flat and relay races, handicap high ... Read More

  • Haggis

    A traditional food of Scotland eaten across the country made from meat offal, herbs and spices contained within a natural or artificial skin that is ball-shaped; can also be made as a vegetarian variety. Haggis features in the ICH of the traditional New Year ceremonies and Burns Night. Haggis is exclusively a Scottish traditional food not associated with any other country.... 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

  • Inverclyde Music Festival

    The Inverclyde Music Festival is one of the oldest music festivals in Scotland. The first Festival was held in Greenock Town Hall over 95 years ago, on the 25th and 26th April, 1914. Every subsequent Festival links since then has been held at the same venue. The Festival has always had strong connections with the local community and with local musical groups and traditions and this has been reflected in the sources of many of the prizes and trophies awarded at the Festival. This connection was evident at th... 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

  • Kirkintilloch Canal Festival

    Celebrating its tenth year, the Canal Festival welcomed over 25,000 visitors to a variety of venues across the town, who enjoyed a full programme of live music, heritage displays, arts and crafts stalls, a Farmers Market, funfairs, boat trips and a variety of waterside entertainment at the Southbank Marina. The Festival kicked-off on Saturday evening at Kirkintilloch’s Southbank Marina, where a programme of live music saw headliners the Glasgow Gospel Choir and Samba Ya Bamba joined by Itchycoo Park and l... Read More

  • Lanimer Day

    One of the conditions of Lanark being granted a Royal charter by King David I - thus becoming a Royal Burgh - was that the Burgesses of the town were required to examine their ‘March’ or boundaries every year and report back to the Crown. Lanark has carried this out every year since 1140, developing the ‘Land Marches’ into an annual celebration, "The Lanimers". The Monday evening marches (formerly done on horseback) now draw crowds of people. A Lord Cornet (the Standard Bearer) is chosen every ye... Read More

  • Lilias Day

    Lilias Day is a Kilbarchan festival said to be named after Lilias Cuninghame, daughter of an 18th century laird. In the past, Lilias Day was celebrated with a cattle market and races, with a procession through the village of men from different trades banging drums and waving flags. The Lilias Day tradition died out at the end of the 19th century, but has been restored in recent years. Nowadays the village is decorated with flags and there is a fancy dress parade which includes a Festival Queen and her ma... Read More

  • Neilston Cattle Show

    The Neilston Cattle Show takes place annually on the 1st Saturday in May and brings together the entire community of this East Renfrewshire village. The first show took place in 1825 and its origins are in the cattle fairs which took place in the village several times a year. However, there are also two recorded explanations for it. The first is that two local farmers were having a dispute over who had the best prize bull. This turned into a contest to be judged by other local farmers and this in turn be... Read More

  • Orkney Folk Festival

    Orkney Folk Festival started in 1982 and has established itself as an important event in both the Orkney and Scottish folk calendars. The festival is based in Stromness, however events also take place in Kirkwall, Deerness, Evie, Finstown, Harray, Hoy, Rousay and Sanday. There is a deliberate policy in the festival to combine local talent with well-known and talented musicians from further afield. The festival takes place every May. ... Read More

  • Renfrew Gala Day

    Renfrew Gala Day began in 1982 at the initiative of the local community. It seemed incongruous to many that until 1982, a burgh of Renfrew’s historic importance did not have a Gala Day whilst many surrounding towns and villages did e.g. Lillias Day in Kilbarchan and Bishopton Gala Day. Renfrew has an important place in Scottish history through its connection with the High Stewards of Scotland. Castlehill, near the present Ferry Road, was the site of Renfrew Castle, seat of the High Stewards. No trace o... Read More

  • Shetland dialect

    The Shetland dialect is essentially a branch of Scots, because the islands have now been part of Scotland for over five hundred years. But, because of the previous five hundred years or so, when Shetland was Scandinavian, the old ‘Norn’ tongue, which had died out by about 1800, is obvious still in place names, vocabulary, expressions and pronunciation. And of course, English is part of the mix too. Features of the dialect: Some Shetland vowel sounds are common in Scandinavia, the most obvious bei... 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Up Helly Aa

    The enduring influence of the Vikings, who arrived in Shetland just over 1000 years ago, is celebrated on the last Tuesday of January every year by fire festivals across Shetland. The events are annual and now take place in mid-Winter, having in some cases evolved from end of year festivities. The centrepiece of these events is a torch-lit procession, culminating in the torching of a replica Viking longship. Lerwick ‘Up Helly Aa’: this is the largest fire festival in Europe. However, this is not the onl... 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

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