A Scottish Christmas tree
By Robert Guthrie
DUMFRIES, Scotland – The buzz of Christmas – one of the most celebrated festivals in the world – is no different in Scotland with bright lights, inevitably masses of snow and large community celebrations being held throughout the nation.
One highlight of Christmas festivities for the majority of Scottish people is the food on offer. Given that Scotland is part of the United Kingdom, the country shares many traditions with England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
We eat roasted turkey and vegetables around Christmas Day and we also have mince pies by the bucket load!
However, Scotland does have some culinary delights specific to the country.
Many Scots drink the national drink, that is, whiskey. The alcoholic spirit is made from barley and water. Many other different flavors can be added depending on the area of Scotland where the drink is produced.
Drambuie – a whiskey liqueur made with honey, spices and herbs – is also guzzled.
Irn Bru is also downed by many Scottish people at not just Christmas, but at other times of the year, too. Irn Bru is an orange-colored fizzy drink which is usually known as ‘Scotland’s other national drink.’ It is the number one selling soft drink in Scotland and rumor has it that the tasty stuff is made with iron from The Forth Road Bridge – one of Scotland’s famous bridges. People not only in Scotland but throughout the world also love to eat shortbread butter biscuits. Shortbread is a crumbly biscuit that is made with a lot of butter. It is incredibly tasty and if you don’t like it, there’s something wrong with you!
Ceilidhs (pronounced ‘Kay-Lees’) take place regularly at Christmastime all over Scotland. They are big evenings for people of all ages to join in on traditional Scottish dancing.
Many schools throughout the country hold ceilidhs for all of their pupils and they are an enjoyable event. Dancing also helps socially as you meet many new people along the way – Scottish dancing is progressive, which means that you change partners many times, unlike many other dances where couples remain in pairs.
While Christmastime in Scotland may be very similar to celebrations in other countries, Scotland does have many longstanding traditions which people all over the nation join in on, and that’s why it’s probably one of the best periods on the calendar.