Every single traveler from any country of the world should know as much as possible about the travel destination before leaving home for a vacation. This is true for people from Scotland travelling to the US since you might end up missing out on the need to have an ESTA Visa and it is true for foreigners coming to Scotland since you want to know about some of the really unique traditions that are not present anywhere else around the world. This is precisely what we will talk about in the following paragraphs.
The Highland Games
The Highland Games are unique and are held all throughout the country between the months of May and September. There are over eighty events that are held and that put competitors in various interesting venues while the Scottish kilt is worn. There are many heavy contests like the popular hammer throw or the caber toss but also numerous field events like cycling competitions and hill races. The Highland Games are a true spectacle that is surrounded by traditions like pipers, drummers, piping competitions and even Highland dancers.
This is a relatively new Scottish tradition. The renowned haggis is not eaten. It is actually thrown as far as a person case while the participant stands on a large whisky barrel. The game was actually invented just as a joke. Robin Dunseath did this for the Edinburgh Gathering of the Clans in 1977. Then, it was used in order to raise charity funds while played at Highland Games.
As time passed, this fun activity evolved into a strict professional sport with rules competitors have to respect. This is a competition that has its roots in women from the seventeenth century tossing the haggis across rivers to waiting husbands so that time was saved and more work was done. Husbands were catching the haggis with the kilts’ front apron so it did not hit the ground.
Kilts And Tartans
Everyone knows the Scottish kilt. It has a really deep historical and cultural root, being seen as a true sacred patriotism and honor symbol for the Scotsman. The kilt is made out of tartan that is worn around waist and then accompanied by the sporran, a small bag that is worn right over the kilt. There is a kilt pin that is holding 2 tartan pieces together and a smaller dagger that is in the sock, the sgian dubh.
You should never visit Scotland without hearing Scottish traditional music played by the national instrument of the country, the bagpipe. This is a wind instrument that actually appeared in the Middle East. It eventually moved and properly evolved in the European continent. Scottish people made it a huge part of country culture.
If you visit the country and are interested in bagpipes, do be sure that you visit some of the castles and museums in the country that have huge collections tourists can explore. The best example of this is, most likely, the Glasgow National Piping Centre.