Storytelling

  • 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

  • Cran

    'In Great Britain, at least as early as the 18th century – 20th century, a unit of capacity for fresh herring before cleaning, since 1852 the quantity needed to fill 37½ imperial gallons (about 6.03 cubic feet, or 170.5 liters). From the Gaelic crann, a measure for herring. Sometimes spelled crane. Under the Herring Industry Board's rules, and Weights and Measures Regulations, any herring not sold by the cran must be sold by weight. A cran typically contains about 1200 fish, but can vary from 700 to 2500... Read More

  • Finnechty Cup

    "Finnechty cup" is an expression that comes from the area on the Moray Coast in the North East of Scotland surrounding the village of Findochty, "Finnechty" being the local pronounciation of Findochty. Apparently, it was the perception of the inhabitants of the neighbouring villages that the folk in Findochty were rather ungenerous when pouring out a cup of tea! Hence the saying came into being and any cup of tea anywhere which was not deemed to be full enough was referred to as a fine "Finnechty cup". I... Read More

  • MILLER'S SHOWPEOPLE HISTORY

    Miller's Family had started doing their Fairgrounds since 19th Century, the man named Christopher Miller were originally came from Horley near Gatwick at Surrey, he began to travel with the Circus around the Country including Belfast, Northern Ireland, on arrival he had a good company of artistics and staff and over 30 Horses and over £300 in hard cash. One night some very valuable horses were poisoned and this threw Christopher into grave financial difficulties and other horses died from want of prope... Read More

  • Pop Day

    At Hallow'een the children of the town of Stromness in Orkney carve turnips into amusing or grotesque heads and paint them in bright colours. They are solid, unlike the more common ‘neepie lanterns’. The children then go around the houses saying ‘A penny tae burn me Pop’ and receive small amounts of money. The origin of this goes back to the Reformation when it was the Pope who was being burnt in effigy, but it has changed over the years to become the innocent sounding ‘Pop’ with no sectarian... Read More

  • Scotland's Year of Stories 2022 Project: Solidarity for All - Africa Delice

    This community cooking session took place in Glasgow. The aim was to teach the community how to cook dishes from different African Cultures and to hold a celebration event involving the wider community. Mireille Njike: "The aim of the event is for refugees to have a forum through which they can meet new faces and share the struggles they have encountered from leaving their countries to the difficulties here in Glasgow. We offer an avenue for people to know they are not alone and through some stories ... Read More

  • Scotland's Year of Stories 2022 Project: Telling Old Stories and Singing Songs, Journey to the Isles: Marjory Kennedy Fraser plus The Loves of Mary Queen of Scots

    Programme strand in the Hippodrome Silent Film Festival March 2022. The strand included a new commission for Marion Kenny: one of Scotland’s leading storytellers, and award-winning musician, singer and songwriter: Mairi Campbell, to respond to two films in the National Library of Scotland (NLS) Moving Image Archive featuring Marjory Kennedy Fraser (1857 – 1930). Fraser was one of the foremost folksong collectors and composers in Scotland. She visited many of the islands to the west of Scotland, recordi... Read More

  • Scotland's Year of Stories Project: George Mackay Brown Trail in Stromness

    If ever there was a writer that is associated with a particular place, it is George Mackay Brown. He was born in Stromness and lived here all his life, seldom leaving the town he loved so much and which shaped his work. His subject was Orkney, its people, legends and history. Seen as one of the great Scottish poets of the 20th century and influential well beyond the bounds of Orkney, he was renowned for his ‘astonishing clarity and sureness of imagery.’ Two events in April 2022, organised by the ... Read More

  • Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 Project: Crossing the Ken

    Families of Glenkens turned out on a glorious sunny day to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories and the bicentenary of the iconic Ken Bridge. 150 people joined a parade which carried puppet dragons, birds and airplanes to under the Ken Bridge. Local story teller Anne Errington told tales of ancient Scottish folklore mixed with stories from New Galloway. Under the beautiful arches of the Ken Bridge, families picnicked next to Mark Zygadlo’s Water Organ. A fantastical contraption based on an 18 ft ... Read More

  • Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 Project: The Disappeared Village

    Held in collaboration with Moray Libraries, this exhibition and series of events took place between February and March 2022 at Elgin Library. The exhibition focused on a village on the South shore of the Moray Firth which was destroyed and abandoned as a result of the Great Sand Drift of 1694. While there are scientific and natural explanations for the disappearance of the village, stories of myth and legend about the people, land and events that unfolded have shrouded Culbin in mystery. This exhibition ... 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

  • Shivery Bite

    "Shivery bite" is an expression used to describe a little something to eat after a dook(swim) in the sea. It was usually a biscuit or chocolate bar or maybe a packet of crisps. I first heard it when I moved to the East Neuk of Fife in the early 1960's. Children were hardy souls in those days and everyone used to swim in the outdoor sea-water swimming pools which still existed in Cellardyke, Anstruther and Pittenweem as well as in many other coastal towns and villages. The water was usually freezing even in ... 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

  • Touch Wood

    For years I have carried a piece of wood around on my key ring. I use it along with the saying 'touch wood that ... does not happen to me'. I use it for luck and to ward off bad luck. I have no idea why I do it and I think I must have just picked it up from my parents. I have noticed others searching for wood to touch when they have said the saying and tapping their head as ifmade of wood as a joke and as an alternative to the real thing.... 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

Can't Find What You Are Looking For?

The content on this site is provided and maintained by people just like you. We need your contributions for this site to represent the wide range of ICH activity taking place in Scotland. If you would like to add an entry to the site, please sign up and become a contributor.

Contribute to ICH Scotland

Connect With Us