We all have our favorite cultural traditions. Whether it’s celebrating 4th of July in the US, Bastille Day in France, or Holi with our Indian friends, each culture brings it’s own unique heritage and traditions to the table. And the Scots are no different! If you’re itching to learn about some of Scotland’s most notable traditions, look no further. Here are, in no particular order, Panrimo’s favorite Scottish traditions!
One of the most obvious Scottish symbols, bagpipes were first recorded in Scotland in the mid 1500s. Made from a several different pieces faceted together, including the bag itself, typically made from animal skins, the bagpipe is known for its distinctive sound and the drones produced when playing it.
Another iconic Scottish classic, haggis is presented as a savory pudding, haggis is a combination of sheeps ‘pluck’ (heart, liver, and lungs) and minced onions, oatmeal, spices, stock, and salt, all encased in sheep stomach. Pleasant, huh? While most haggis is now prepared in casing as opposed to stomach, the ingredients remain the same.
Although originally associated with the Highlands, kilts are now ubiquitously associated with Scottish culture. Although previously worn frequently, kilts are now generally relegated to formal events, or competitions in Highland games.
4.) Highland Games
The origins of Highland games predate written history, and are integral to Scottish Highland culture. There are several categories of events, including heavy games, music, dance, and other events as well. You’ll likely know them from the heavy events though, which include the caber (pole) toss, stone put, Scottish hammer throw, weight over the bar, sheaf toss, and others.
3.) St. Andrew’s Day
The patron saint of Scotland, St. Andrew’s Day is celebrated each year on November 30th. Festivities are marked with celebrations of Scottish culture, with plenty of music, food, and dancing. Schools are closed across the country, as well as office, considering St. Andrew’s Day is a national bank holiday. And in Edinburgh, there’s a week’s worth of celebrations leading up to…
Though we know it as New Year’s Eve, the Scots celebrate the final day of the year as Hogmanay. Cities all across Scotland gather together and celebrate through the night and into January 1st, and oftentimes January 2nd, as this is a bank holiday in Scotland. Say what you will, but the Scots know how to party.
1.) “Auld Lang Syne”
Although you may not have known it, you absolutely know and have heard this song. “Auld Lang Syne,” written by Robert Burns, is the second most sung song in the world. Typically used to end the year and begin the following on New Years Eve, the song is also sung at funerals, graduations, farewells, or to end other occasions.