December 2020

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


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

October 2020

The Scottish Origins of Halloween


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

September 2020

Turning the Wheel of the Year


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

October 2019

Halloween Origins: Samhain and the Cailleach


The origins of Halloween date back to an ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced sow-in) which celebrated the harvest and the arrival of the Cailleach. For the Celts who lived some 2,000 years ago, November 1st was their New Year. It was a time when the early farmers met together, bonfires were lit and [...]

Halloween Origins: Samhain and the Cailleach2020-10-16T18:24:31+00:00
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