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Scottish Traditions – Some facts about Kilts and Haggis

Scotland highlands

Scotland highlands

Scotland is a country most well known for its misty mountains, mysterious lochs, bagpipes, kilts and whisky, however this is also the place that invented golf, the telephone, television and discovered penicilin.

Those are just a few of the things that the country is most well-known for, and while some of them are definitely the reason behind some visitors to the place, most people come to Scotland in order to experience some of the specific Scottish customs and traditions that make Scotland such a unique and interesting piece of the United Kingdom and the Earth at large.

Possibly one of the most characteristic sights that come to mind when thinking of Scotland is that of a Scotsman in full Highland Dress. It is indeed a sight to behold as the whole idea of Scottish kilts is something that fascinates people all across the world, however not many people realize that kilts never come by themselves, in fact you cannot have a kilt without ‘flashes’.

Kilts and flashes

Kilts and flashes

Flashes are worn as garters around the top of the socks that you wear with your kilt, and the flashes themselves can come in a wide variety of colors in order to work in tandem with the kilt.

When it comes to the whole Highland Dress it should be noted that the kilt that we are familiar with only came into being, or into ‘fashion’, during the 18th century. Before that moment, the dress was a much rougher one, it was basically just a large piece of fabric which would be gathered and belted at the waist.

The modern kilt is a much more intricate creation, and while the kilt itself may not be as complex, the modern Highland dress implies considerably more accessories than it did in the past, there’s the jacket, which is normally made of tweet, the sporran – which is the purse-like accessory – the socks and flashes we talked about earlier and of course the lace jabot instead of a tie.

Haggis

Haggis

The food and drink of any particular place are integral parts of that place’s culture and many Scottish traditions revolve around food, and many Scottish dishes are famous around the world, mostly for their peculiarity, chief amongst them being Haggis.

Haggis is a weird thing, not only due to its ingredients which would horrify most modern humans but also due to the fact that almost each and every Scot will have a different story related to it as well as a variety of folklore and amusing descriptions.

The truth of the matter is that there are many recipes and variations of the dish around the country but it probably gained its fame thanks to the Rabbie Burns poem called “Address to a Haggis” because the haggis was very popular during his time because it was made from cheap ingredients, the things that you would otherwise throw away from the sheep.

 

 

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