How To Be Quintessentially Scottish When Up North
Every country has its own traditions, and Scotland certainly isn’t exempt from that. Whether you’re visiting the stunning city of Edinburgh, or perhaps taking a trek up to the Highlands themselves, we always recommend taking on classic Scottish traditions to make the trip up north a memorable one. Scots are proud of their origins - though some are more popular than others! Therefore, it’s always a good idea to celebrate their traditions in style when visiting the northern-most part of the UK. Pack your kilt, renew your EHIC, and join in with these Scottish traditions!
Participate In Highland Games
These aren’t exactly the Olympics; however the Scots certainly treat them like they are! Running from spring to late autumn, the Highland Games can vary in length and the number of events on offer. Regardless, Scottish natives are highly celebrative of their Games; they often participate dressed in the traditional attire while celebrating along with music and dances. The most distinctive games are tossing the caber, putting the stone and tossing a weight over the bar, which all showcase the determination and skill of competitors. In order to be quintessentially Scottish when visiting up north, we’d certainly recommend the caber toss, as not only can it be a great laugh, but it’s also rather impressive to watch the more seasoned competitors throw it perfectly.
Wear A Kilt
Being quintessentially Scottish wouldn’t be possible without wearing the appropriate attire, so a kilt is absolutely necessary. Usually, the kilt is worn with kilt hose (also known as woollen socks), which are turned down at the knee with garter flashes and a sporran (a type of pouch). Traditionally, the sporran is made of embossed leather, although some have it decorated with sealskin, fur or polished metal plating. Once you’ve assembled all of these pieces together, nobody will even notice that you originate from elsewhere!
Indulge In The Classic Cuisine
We must admit, haggis doesn’t sound like the most appealing dish considering it contains the sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, minced with onions alongside other ingredients - how do you know you dislike it until you’ve tried it, though? When prepared properly, haggis can be a delicious meal, especially when trying it at Burns supper around 25th January when Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns, is commemorated. Haggis aside, Scotland is also well known for many other classic delicacies, such as deep fried Mars bars! Furthermore, why not head up to a whiskey distillery and sample some of the country’s finest scotch whiskey – you won’t try better anywhere else.
Speak Some Gaelic
Truthfully, Gaelic is rarely spoken in Scotland today, however the nation is trying its best to teach the native language in schools to bring it back into fashion. Often, the further up north you travel, the more Gaelic you begin to hear. If learning an entirely new language is a step too far for you, learning some of their distinguishable dialect works just as well. Scottish phrases such as ‘scran’ and ‘you’re a wee scunner!’ are widely heard in traditionally Scottish areas, so learning a few classic phrases will help to set you apart from other tourists!
Visiting Scotland is an incredible experience, and should not be taken lightly. By adopting the Scottish customs, you can have a once-in-a-lifetime experience, properly living the life of the Scottish locals.