Long before it made it to the U.S. and Canada, Hallowe’en was an ancient Celtic festival, Samhain*. One of the four major Celtic festivals, it celebrated the dead. One of the major traditions at Samhain was rituals that predicted the future. This is a tasty Scottish way to do that. * /ˈsɑːwɪn/ This Hallowe’en cake … Continue reading “Halloween Cake to Tell the Future”
6 April every year is celebrated by people of Scottish origins around this world as Tartan Day. And a new exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum in Dundee examines this long-lived fabric that was considered so dangerous that it was illegal to wear it in the 18th century is now a visual reminder of … Continue reading “Tartan Day”
The father of the historical novel, author of Ivanhoe and the romanticised image of Scottish history portrayed in the Waverley novels, and a collector and preserver of ballads from the oral tradition, Sir Walter Scott was one major figures of Victorian Britain. This year, Scotland celebrates the 250th anniversary of his birth. Scott was born … Continue reading “Sir Walter Scott at 250”
This year marks the 250th anniversary of author Sir Walter Scott’s birth, on 15 August 1771. Our Biobox video quiz will allow you to familiarise your students with Scott’s life from A2+ level. You can download the MP4 file below to use in class.
Every 25 January, Scots and Scotophiles around the world celebrate Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet. And since one of his famous poems is about the national dish, haggis, Burns Suppers are an occasion to taste haggis, recite poetry and enjoy Scottish music. You certainly won’t be able to go to celebrate in Scotland this year, … Continue reading “Celebrate Scotland’s Burns Night Online”
Seven hundred years ago, Scotland’s most powerful lords wrote a letter that many consider the country’s foundational document: The Declaration of Arbroath. In it, they swore they would never submit to English rule. In 1320, Scotland was in the midst of the Wars of Independence with its southern neighbour. After William Wallace’s ultimately doomed rebellion … Continue reading “Scotland’s Birth Certificate”
St-Germain-en-Laye in the Yvelines has a long historic connection with Scotland, and is twinned with the Scottish seaside town of Ayr. For the weekend of 21-22 September, St Germain will be taken over by kilts and bagpipes for a Highland Games. The castle in St Germain was home to the exiled King James II of … Continue reading “Celebrate Scotland in St-Germain-en-Laye”