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January 2021

King James VI and The North Berwick Witch Trials

2021-01-12T17:01:27+00:00

The events which led to the North Berwick Witch Trials began, not in Scotland, but at the other side of the North Sea. It all began on the 22nd October when James VI, King of Scots set sail for Norway to collect his bride, Anne of Denmark. The Scottish King got caught up in [...]

King James VI and The North Berwick Witch Trials2021-01-12T17:01:27+00:00

The Burning Times: The Scottish Witch Trials

2021-01-12T16:52:40+00:00

Between 1563 and 1763 Scotland was a country in flux and the resulting paranoia fueled the Scottish Witch Trials. Belief in witchcraft was common during the Middle Ages, but the leaders of the Catholic church were largely skeptical, seeing it as folklore rather than something sinister. Lawyers were only interested in cases were harm [...]

The Burning Times: The Scottish Witch Trials2021-01-12T16:52:40+00:00

Yuletide Greenery

2021-01-05T17:37:11+00:00

Dismantling the Yuletide greenery was an important event on Uphalieday, Twelfth Night or what is known as Epiphany in the Christian calendar. Decking the halls with Yuletide Greenery at Christmastime is an ancient tradition. Its origins stretch back to a time before Christianity reached Scotland’s shores. It stretches back to a time of druids and [...]

Yuletide Greenery2021-01-05T17:37:11+00:00

December 2020

Hogmanay: The Traditions of Scotland’s New Year’s Eve

2020-12-31T21:29:41+00:00

Hogmanay is by far the biggest celebration in the Scottish year. Traditionally it surpasses Christmas in the degree to which it is celebrated. But why? From ancient times the Winter Solstice has been celebrated by the early people of Scotland. With the coming of Christianity, Christmas became a major celebration. However, during the Protestant Reformation, [...]

Hogmanay: The Traditions of Scotland’s New Year’s Eve2020-12-31T21:29:41+00:00

The Yules, Trows and a big helping of Superstition- The Old Festive Season in Scotland’s Northern Isles

2020-12-29T18:49:53+00:00

The Yules was the old festive celebration in Orkney and Shetland derived from the old Norse Celebration of the Viking Settlers who once inhabited Scotland’s Northern Isles. However, long before the Norsemen arrived, the prehistoric peoples of Orkney had built the cairn at Maeshowe, with its entrance aligned to the Winter solstice. The old ways [...]

The Yules, Trows and a big helping of Superstition- The Old Festive Season in Scotland’s Northern Isles2020-12-29T18:49:53+00:00

Christmas in Scotland through the Ages

2020-12-23T20:12:47+00:00

Did you know that once upon a time, Christmas was banned in Scotland- by the Kirk? And that Christmas has only recently become a public holiday? However, from before the dawn of time, this time of year has been important to the inhabitants of Scotland. Stone Age Megaliths are aligned to the Winter Solstice. Many [...]

Christmas in Scotland through the Ages2020-12-23T20:12:47+00:00

Winter Solstice: Scottish Megaliths and the World’s Oldest Calendar

2020-12-20T18:32:54+00:00

Anyone who has lived in Scotland can tell you that the Winter Solstice can be a tough time of the year, with barely any daylight hours. On 'driech' rainy days, there may be little light at all. Most people feel that they would gladly join the hibernating hedgehogs and bats in their sleep. This must [...]

Winter Solstice: Scottish Megaliths and the World’s Oldest Calendar2020-12-20T18:32:54+00:00

November 2020

St Andrews Cathedral: Skeletons, Skulls and Sarcophagi

2020-11-30T17:32:00+00:00

St Andrews Cathedral is the place to visit if you are interested in stones, bones, and ghostly groans. Like all of Scotland’s ancient buildings, it is shrouded in its fair share of myth and mystery. How could it be anything less when it once housed the bones of Scotland’s Patron Saint, Saint Andrew whose feast [...]

St Andrews Cathedral: Skeletons, Skulls and Sarcophagi2020-11-30T17:32:00+00:00

October 2020

The Scottish Origins of Halloween

2020-10-31T22:19:29+00:00

Halloween began in the dawn of history as a Celtic harvest festival called Samhain (pronounced sow-in). We know from the alignments of the Neolithic stone circles and cairns that the solstices were important to the early peoples in Scotland. The summer and winter solstices were easy to measure and could be used as the basis [...]

The Scottish Origins of Halloween2020-10-31T22:19:29+00:00

The Lore of the Scottish Rowan Tree

2020-10-21T20:41:48+00:00

The rowan tree has a special place in the hearts of the Scottish people. It was once worshipped by the Druids, planted near the doorways of homes as a protection from witches, used as part of the rituals in quarter-day celebrations and features prominently in Scottish folklore. Perhaps the most famous is the tale of [...]

The Lore of the Scottish Rowan Tree2020-10-21T20:41:48+00:00
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