21.12.2010, Author: highlander
The younger children make advent calendars, these are calendars with little doors that open and reveal a small picture. The last day to open is Christmas Eve. The children also write letters to Santa who lives in Lapland and then burn them in the fireplace so they get to Santa faster.
On Christmas Eve it is a tradition to burn branches of a rowan tree which signifies that any bad feelings between friends and relatives have been forgotten for the Yuletide season. If the fire goes out on Christmas Eve it is believed the family will have bad luck for the following year. Stockings are hung o the foot of the bed for Santa.
The tree is usually a Scots pine and decorate they it with “fairy” lights and tartan bows. The use of holly and berries to make wreaths is still very popular. Outside many people decorate with lights and even put fake snow on their rooftops! Czytaj całość »
11.12.2010, Author: highlander
Celtic Sun Worship
In ancient times the Celts of Scotland celebrated the great fire festival of the winter solstice. At the solstice, the sun was reborn, with light and warmth emanating once more from this golden sphere of life and eternal energy.
The tree worshipping Druids also revered the evergreen and the oak, with its magical mistletoe, during this two week festival of the return of the sun. The eighth century influence of the Scandinavian Vikings added Germanic elements to the celebration, such as the burning of great bon fires and the shamanic magic of Odin.
In the late middle ages, the Catholic church expropriated the winter solstice celebration, replacing sun worship with son worship. When the Protestant reformation came in the sixteenth century, the Protestants proclaimed that this winter Bacchanalia was pagan and Papist and that the Scots should not celebrate it.
Until the 1950s, Christmas was not celebrated in Scotland. Since that time, the winter holiday has grown in popularity until it now very much resembles Christmas in the United States, with its gift giving and Santa Claus and intemperate feasting, and decorated Christmas trees, with stockings hung by the fire. What is unique about the Scottish holiday celebration can be seen in the various and varied cities of Scotland. Czytaj całość »
1.12.2010, Author: highlander
Scottish people are very ecologically aware. The Scottish land has always been considered one of the most beautiful wildlife areas in Europe and its residents are doing all they can to keep it this way.
In the beginning of the 20th century the topic of ecology almost didn’t exist worldwide. Industrialization took its toll on all heavily industrialized areas but not all of them were able to fight with it later. Scotland was able to partially resist this growth of various heavy industries.
Scots feel a strong bond with their land and they are working hard on restoring what was damaged. Not only do they protect the wildlife, but also during the last years, the natural lifestyle has been actively reintroduced.
In the big picture, the government and various organisations are constantly introducing and developing ecology-awareness programmes in many areas. Scotland is the leading country in the Eco-Schools programme that is supposed to help raise a new generation of eco-friendly young people. Czytaj całość »