Scottish Borders

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Rumbledethumps

    Rumbledethumps is a dish that originated in the Borders area of Scotland, the main ingredients of whch are cabbage, potatoes and onions. The name of the dish itself apparently comes from the noise made in the kitchen as the potatoes and cabbage are rumbled and thumped in the preparation. It can be served as a main dish or as an accompaniment to something else. ... Read More

  • The Meadows Mummers; tradition with a difference.

    Among the practitioners in this field are The Meadows Mummers. This Edinburgh-based all-female group have taken the traditional folk drama “Galoshins” (in all its various spellings) and updated it with a modernised and expanded script, written in rhyming couplets, while still respecting its traditional form and Commedia dell'Arte roots. It was associated with Hogmanay, but the Mummers largely perform at community festivals in the summer, so performances are open-air. Through collaborations with the... Read More

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