Christmas is celebrated widely across the globe, by all folks of religion. It is the most impressive occasion around the winter solstice. Love, affection, togetherness and brotherhood are the prime features of the festival. In Scotland, come October and the preparations for the festival start on an extensive level, to get the best out of it. Traditionally, Christmas was celebrated quietly in the country, since the Church of Scotland or Presbyterian Church did not give any due importance to it. It was only some time back that December 25 was declared as a special occasion therein. Read on to know all about the Christmas traditions followed in Scotland.
Christmas Celebrations In Scotland
In Scotland, Christmas planning and preparations start from just before Halloween. The festival is known as Yule or Yuletide. Light and fire play an integral role in Scottish Christmas celebrations. Fireworks and light display shows are organized nationwide. Holy wreaths, tinsel, candles and decorations are placed in all the homes. Decorated Christmas trees take the central position in the homes. Children hang in stockings on their bedsides, to be filled-in by the Santa. Scotts greet Merry Christmas as 'Nollaig chridheil huibh'.
In Scottish homes, a raging fire is lit in the fireplace, to keep away elves from entering homes and causing troubles in the family. A sprig of mistletoe is hung from the ceilings and in the doorways as well, to keep off evil spirits and get a kiss from the party guests. Huge bonfires are lit in some parts of Scotland. People play bagpipes, dance, sing and drink around these bonfires. In Burghead, volunteers set a tar-barrel on fire and take turns to carry it on their head, before they smash it into pieces.
In Shetland Islands, parade of a 30 ft. Viking longboat is carried out. In Comrie, parades displaying large torches are organized, after which people immerse the torches into the river. Mouth-watering cakes made of oatmeal, called Bannocks, are the specialty of Scotland, on Christmas. The lunch generally includes Roasted Turkey, Sage & Onion Stuffing, Chippolata Sausages, Roasted Potatoes, Carrots and Brussels sprouts, along with scotch or champagne. As dessert, the conventional and tempting Christmas pudding known as Clootie Dumpling is served. Children take it with custard sauce and adults with whiskey or rum.
Christmas in Scotland is a simple affair, yet classy and distinct from the rest of the world. The festival is a time for families and friends to unite and spend some memorable moments together. Scottish Christmas is all about feasting, drinking, dancing, gaming, singing and music. The end of Christmas marks the preparations for New Year celebrations, which is considered to be even more important festival than Christmas, by some people. The Scotts believe that on New Yea, the first person to step in the home would bring in good fortunes for the inmates.