Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo
- First edition: 1950
- Edinburgh Castle
- Musicians, pipers, drummers, singers and dancers
- A tattoo is a military performance of music or display of armed forces in general (wikipedia)
Hogmanay (New Year's Eve) & New Year
The Scots celebrate Hogmanay with a lot of big events. Hogmanay is Scottish for the last day of the year.
The highland games
The highland games have been a part of Scotland’s culture for hundreds of years and are just as popular today as they’ve ever been. Every Highland games event has a unique character and traditions and many are held in stunning locations. You can enjoy a sporting spectacle of champions, with dancing, music and more. You have a lot of traditional sports like Caber toss, shot putt, weight for height, tug o’ war and also Highland dancing. It’s a one-day event that includes all these sports but also family fun, best-dressed pet competitions and parades. They ask everybody if they want to join the competition. There are so many options, perfect for a day with your family.
Scotland in general
Scotland is a part of the UK, it is the northern part of the Island Great Britain. Scotland is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean (north and west), the North Sea (northeast) and the Irish sea (south). Scotland's capital is Edinburgh.
With its 1345 meter, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the United Kingdom. It’s situated in the north west Highlands. It can mean 'mountain with its head in the clouds' and 'venomous mountain' in Gaelic. Ben Nevis used to be a massive active volcano.
Also known as The Aurora Borealis. The Aurora Borealis is named after Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn and Boreas, the Greek name for the north wind. The northern lights are caused by charged particles (geladen deeltjes) accelerated into the Earth's upper atmosphere. Thanks to sunlight, we can see this extraordinary spectacle.
Loch Lomond is the largest lake in Scotland and the largest body of freshwater in Great Britain. Loch Lomond is about 37 kilometers long and 8 kilometers wide, with a surface area of 71 km.
The Giant’s Causeway is a rock formation that consists of 40.000 columns. It starts in Northern-Ireland and it ends in Scotland. 60 million years ago, it was just chalk beds. As a consequence of volcanic activity, molten basalt formed a lava plateau. This plateau broke, resulting in cracks spreading down, leaving pillarlike structures as the mass cooled down. There is also a legend to explain this rock formation. The legend says that there was an Irish giant called Fionn mac Cumhail. He was challenged to fight the Scottish giant, Benandonner. Of course, he accepted the challenge, so he built the causeway so the two giants could meet. When Fionn saw his opponent, who was much bigger then he was, he fled back to Ireland. He asked his wife to disguise him as a baby. Benandonner then saw the baby and he thought that, if the baby was this big, it’s father must be huge. So he went back to Scotland, but not before he destroyed the causeway so the giants could never meet again.
He is a male fairy who lives deep within Scottish forests, particularly in birch trees. He lives alone and camouflages himself from humans, using leaves and moss for clothing. The Ghillie Dhu, or the ‘dark-haired lad’ in Gaelic, gets very angry if adults’ trespass upon his forest and he severely punishes those who interfere with his precious leafy home. But the Ghillie Dhu is also known for his kindness but only towards younger explorers of his forest
Odd Scottish traditions
The Lang Reel dance
The Lang Reel is a traditional dance which happens in the fishing communities of Scotland. The dance, with the inhabitants and the wedding party, begins from the harbour and continue through the village, with each couple leaving the dance when they pass their home, until the bride and groom leave and have the last dance.
A professional sport, where a portion of haggis is thrown as far as possible, whilst the athlete stands atop a barrel of whisky. The haggis skin must remain intact and be fit for consumption.
The competitors of Caber toss have to toss a 6m-long log (caber) of 68kg as far as they can. The athletes have to balance the log in their hands and perform a run-up before tossing it away in a ’12 o’clock angle away from themselves.
Also an Olympic Event, although the hammer in the Highland Games differs from the one used in the Olympics. It consists of a metal ball connected to a wooden handle. The athletes swing it over their heads, twist 180° and launch it as far as they can.
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