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December 2020

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

September 2020

The Gorbals’ Vampire: The Iron-toothed, Child Eater who Terrorised Glasgow

2020-10-15T16:48:39+00:00

The words ‘The Gorbals’ Vampire’ spread from lip to lip. Wide-eyed, the children relished the horror of the tale. It had pale skin! Its eyes were red! They glowed in the dark! It was seven foot tall!  It had sharpened fangs made of iron. You will never guess where it lives! In the Gravy (The [...]

The Gorbals’ Vampire: The Iron-toothed, Child Eater who Terrorised Glasgow2020-10-15T16:48:39+00:00

Turning the Wheel of the Year

2020-10-15T18:30:41+00:00

The turning of the wheel of the year is something which is always with us. At the summer solstice, I stood watching the sunset at the Browland Standing Stones in Garmouth, one of the villages on the Spey Estuary. The standing stones make a four-poster circle which is an unusual stone circle configuration for the [...]

Turning the Wheel of the Year2020-10-15T18:30:41+00:00

August 2020

William Wallace: The Man, the Myth, The Legend

2020-10-15T19:30:33+00:00

William Wallace was executed on the 23rd of August 1305. He began life as an obscure laird or lord, one of Scotland’s lesser nobility. Wallace was never king of Scotland but for a short while, he led the country. He was a soldier and yet he fought in relatively few battles. So what caused his [...]

William Wallace: The Man, the Myth, The Legend2020-10-15T19:30:33+00:00

Lughnasadh, Lunastal or Lammas: The Celtic Harvest Festival

2020-10-15T18:32:07+00:00

Lughnasadh is a festival where the first fruits of the harvest are celebrated on the 1st August. It has its origins in two separate festivals. Firstly, it is the Celtic festival of Lunastal, Lunasdal or Lughnasadh, making it one of the Gaelic quarter-day festivals along with Imbolc, Beltane and Samhain. Later the quarter-day festivals would [...]

Lughnasadh, Lunastal or Lammas: The Celtic Harvest Festival2020-10-15T18:32:07+00:00
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