Scottish Kilts: “The National Dress of Scotland”
Scottish kilts became prevalent in the 1720s when the British military adopted them as their formal attire; however, they first appeared in 1575. Each clan has a specific tartan, the pattern on the material, color of kilt. Today, the kilt is considered the national dress of Scotland and is generally only worn at special occasions such as weddings.
What is worn under Scottish kilts?
Traditionally, no undergarments are worn with a kilt. In fact, it is a military regulation that soldiers in the Highland regiment cannot wear anything under their kilt. However, exceptions to this tradition do exist. Dancers, athletes and bandleaders in the Highlands are allowed to wear undergarments because of the activities they partake in. Furthermore, citizens have a choice to wear undergarments or not.1
The typical Scottish wedding is filled with many traditions dating as far back as the thirteenth century. Although some of the traditions have been altered throughout time, many continue to be a central part of the Scottish wedding.
Attire: The bride wears a traditional or contemporary white wedding gown. The groom wears the traditional Highland kilt, kilt jacket and sporran (the pouch wore with kilts).
Music: Bagpipes or a Gaelic hymn are played as the wedding couple walks down the aisle to the alter. The Scottish song “The Highland Wedding” is played at almost all Scottish weddings.
After saying their vows, in either ancient Gaelic or modern English, the groom pins a strip of his clan’s tartan color to the bride’s dress symbolizing that she is now a part of his clan.2
Scottish Food:Haggis “The National Dish of Scotland”
Haggis is a traditional dish of Scotland that is made from the lung, liver and heart of a sheep. These parts are mixed with oatmeal and spices, and then stuffed into the sheep’s stomach.
Haggis is the most popular dish on Robbie Burn’s Day of Celebration. Robbie Burns was a great Scottish poet and writer. He wrote the poem “To A Haggis” because of his love for the food. To celebrate his birthday on January 25th, haggis is served across the nation.3
Christmas Day and New Year’s Day Celebrations:
Until recently, Christmas was not widely celebrated in Scotland. In the past, Christmas was purely a religious holiday. Children did receive presents on this day; however, people would still go in to work. New Year’s was the main holiday celebration of Scotland.
The Ba: The Ba is a game played on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day in many Scottish towns. It was originally only played on New Year’s Day, but has recently been played on Christmas Day as well. The premise of the game is to get the Ba, a cork filled leather ball, into the opponent’s goal. The men of the town are divided up into “Uppies” and “Doonies.” These two groups fight for the Ba, and then have to get it to the opposite side of town. Games can last for hours and take place in the streets of the town during a normal day of activity.4