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Scottish Interesting Facts


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#16
cheyenne 09

cheyenne 09

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interesting things you didnt know about

Here are some of the U.S. statistics for the Year 1905 :

*The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 years.

*Only 14 percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub.

*Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

*A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost eleven dollars.

*There were only 8,000 cars in the U.S., and only 144 miles of paved roads.

*The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.

*Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were each more heavily populated than California.

*With a mere 1.4 million people, California was only the 21st most populous state in the Union.

*The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower!

*The average wage in the U.S. was 22cents per hour.

*The average U.S. worker made between $200 and $400 per year .

*A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,

*a dentist $2,500 per year,

*a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and

*a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

*More than 95 percent of all births in the U.S. took place at home .

*Ninety percent of all U.S. doctors had no college education.

*Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were condemned in the press and by the government as "substandard."

*Sugar cost four cents a pound.

*Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

*Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

*Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

*Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

*Five leading causes of death in the U.S. were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza

2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea

4. Heart disease

5. Stroke

*The American flag had 45 stars.

*Arizona, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Alaska hadn't been admitted to the Union yet.

*The population of Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!

*Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea hadn't been invented yet.

*There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

*Two out of every 10 U.S. adults couldn't read or write.

*Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

*Eighteen percent of households in the U.S. had at least one full-time servant or domestic help.

*There were about 230 reported murders in the entire U.S.

Interesting facts

*Coca-Cola was originally green.

*Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.

*The state with the highest percentage of people who walk to work: Alaska

*The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get this...).

*The percentage of the remainder of North America that is wilderness: 38%

*The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400

*The average number of people airborne over the US any given hour: 61,000

*Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

*The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.

*The youngest pope was 11 years old.

*The first novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

*Those San Francisco Cable cars are the only mobile National Monuments.

*Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades - King David, Hearts - Charlemagne, Clubs - Alexander the Great, Diamonds - Julius Caesar

*It is possible to lead a cow upstairs but not downstairs.

*Smartest dogs: 1) Scottish border collie; 2) Poodle; 3) Golden retriever.

*Dumbest: Afghan hound.

*Hawaiian alphabet has 12 letters.

*Men can read smaller print than women; women can hear better.

*Amount American Airlines saved in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad served first class: $40,000

*City with the most Rolls Royce's per capital : Hong Kong

*Percentage of American men who say they would marry the same woman if they had it to do all over again: 80%

*Percentage of American women who say they'd marry the same man: 50%

*Cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven: $6,400

*Average number of people airborne over the US any given hour:61,000.

*Percentage of Americans who have visited Disneyland/Disney World:70%

*Average life span of a major league baseball: 7 pitches.

*Only President to win a Pulitzer: John F. Kennedy for Profiles in Courage

*Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair.

*The world's youngest parents were 8 and 9 and lived in China in 1910.

*The youngest pope was 11 years old.

*Iceland consumes more Coca-Cola per capita than any other nation.

*First novel ever written on a typewriter: Tom Sawyer.

*A duck's quack doesn't echo, and no one knows why.

*In the 1940s, the FCC assigned television's Channel 1 to mobile devices (two-way radios in taxicabs, for instance) but did not renumber the other channel assignments. That is why your TV set has channels 2 and up, but no channel 1.

*The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

*Hang On Snoopy is the official rock song of Ohio.

*Did you know that there are coffee flavored PEZ?

*The airplane Buddy Holly died in was the "American Pie." (Thus the name of the Don McLean song.)

*When opossums are playing 'possum, they are not "playing." They actually pass out from sheer terror.

*The Main Library at Indiana University sinks over an inch every year because when it was built, engineers failed to take into account the weight of all the books that would occupy the building.

*In Shakespeare's time, mattresses were secured on bed frames by ropes. When you pulled on the ropes, the mattress tightened, making the bed firmer to sleep on. That's where the phrase "Goodnight, sleep tight" comes from.

*The sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog." uses every letter in the alphabet. It was developed by Western Union to test telex communications.

*The term "the whole nine yards" came from W.W.II fighter pilots in the Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole nine yards."

*The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law that stated you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.

*An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

*Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older.

*In Cleveland, Ohio, it's illegal to catch mice without a hunting license.

*It takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year's supply of footballs.

*Thirty-five percent of the people who use personal ads for dating are already married.

*There are an average of 178 sesame seeds on a McDonald's Big Mac bun.

*The world's termites outweigh the world's humans 10 to 1.

*The three most valuable brand names on earth: Marlboro, Coca-Cola, and Budweiser, in that order.

*In ten minutes a hurricane releases more energy than all the world's nuclear weapons combined.

*In Athens, Greece, a driver's license can be lifted by the law if the driver is deemed either 'poorly dressed' or 'unbathed'.

*On the island of Jersey it's against the law for a man to knit during the fishing season.

*In Alabama it is illegal to carry a comb in your pocket, because it may be used as a weapon. This comes after a 13 year old boy was killed when he was stabbed with a comb.

*In Michigan, it is illegal to chain an alligator to a fire hydrant.

*It is against the law to whale hunt in Oklahoma.

*In Fairbanks, Alaska it is illegal for a moose to walk on the side walk.
This dates back to the early days if the town when the owner of the bar had a pet moose that he used to get drunk. The moose would then stumble around the town drunk. The only way the law makers could prevent this from happining was to create the law so the moose could not cross the sidewalk and get into the bar.

*In Quebec, Canada, an old law states that margarine must be a different colour from butter. This law is the result of Quebec dairy lobbyists' pressure to ''protect'' their dairy business. They claimed margarine was beginning to resemble butter, as to be mistaken for real butter. Make margarine unattractive, and consumers would stick to butter. The Quebec government caved in, and tried to impose a dark vermilion-coloured margarine, which was disgusting. The colour, finally, at the other extreme, is a pallid almost-white-colourless margarine.

*According to a british law passed in 1845, attempting to commit suicide was a capital offense. Offenders could be hanged for trying.

*It is illegal to sell an ET doll in France. They have a law forbidding the sale of dolls that do not have human faces.

Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury

*It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer, and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the "honey month," or what we know today as the honeymoon.

* (see note below) In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them to mind their own pints and quarts and settle down. It's where we get the phrase "Mind your P's and Q's."

*Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim or handle of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.

Edited by cheyenne 09, 26 November 2006 - 04:06 AM.

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#17
cheyenne 09

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Saint Andrew ( Patron Saint of Scotland )


Saint Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day is celebrated by Scots around the world on the 30th November. The flag of Scotland is the Cross of St. Andrew, and this is widely displayed as a symbol of national identity.
The "Order of Saint Andrew" or the "Most Ancient Order of the Thistle" is an order of Knighthood which is restricted to the King or Queen and sixteen others. It was established by James VII of Scotland in 1687.

Very little is really known about St. Andrew himself. He was thought to have been a fisherman in Galilee (now part of Israel), along with his elder brother Simon Peter (Saint Peter). Both became followers (apostles) of Jesus Christ, founder of the Christian religion.

St. Andrew is said to have been responsible for spreading the tenets of the Christian religion though Asia Minor and Greece. Tradition suggests that St. Andrew was put to death by the Romans in Patras, Southern Greece by being pinned to a cross (crucified). The diagonal shape of this cross is said to be the basis for the Cross of St. Andrew which appears on the Scottish Flag.

St. Andrews bones were entombed, and around 300 years later were moved by Emperor Constantine (the Great) to his new capital Constantinople (now Istambul in Turkey). Legend suggests that a Greek Monk (although others describe him as an Irish assistant of St. Columba) called St. Rule (or St. Regulus) was warned in a dream that St. Andrews remains were to be moved and was directed by an angel to take those of the remains which he could to the "ends of the earth" for safe-keeping. St. Rule dutifully followed these directions, removing a tooth, an arm bone, a kneecap and some fingers from St. Andrew's tomb and transporting these as far away as he could. Scotland was close to the extremities of the know world at that time and it was here that St. Rule was shipwrecked with his precious cargo.

St. Rule is said to have come ashore at a Pictish settlement on the East Coast of Scotland and this later became St. Andrews. Thus the association of St. Andrew with Scotland was said to have begun.

Perhaps more likely than the tale of St. Rule's journey is that Acca, the Bishop of Hexham, who was a reknown collector of relics, brought the relics of St. Andrew to St. Andrews in 733. There certainly seems to have been a religious centre at St. Andrews at that time, either founded by St. Rule in the 6th century or by a Pictish King, Ungus, who reigned from 731 - 761.

Whichever tale is true, the relics were placed in a specially constructed chapel. This chapel was replaced by the Cathedral of St. Andrews in 1160, and St. Andrews became the religious capital of Scotland and a great centre for Medieval pilgrims who came to view the relics.

There are other legends of how St. Andrew and his remains became associated with Scotland, but there is little evidence for any of these, including the legend of St. Rule. The names still exist in Scotland today, including St. Rules Tower, which remains today amongst the ruins of St. Andrews Cathedral.

It is not known what happened to the relics of St. Andrew which were stored in St. Andrews Cathedral, although it is most likely that these were destroyed during the Scottish Reformation. The Protestant cause, propounded by Knox, Wishart and others, won out over Roman Catholism during the Reformation and the "idolatry of catholism", that is the Saints, relics, decoration of churches, were expunged during the process of converting the Roman Catholic churches of Scotland to the harsh simplicity of Knox's brand of Calvanism.

The place where these relics were kept within the Cathedral at St. Andrews is now marked by a plaque, amongst the ruins, for visitors to see.

The larger part of St. Andrew's remains were stolen from Constantinople in 1210 and are now to be found in Amalfi in Southern Italy. In 1879 the Archbishop of Amalfi sent a small piece of the Saint's shoulder blade to the re-established Roman Catholic community in Scotland.

In 1969, Gordon Gray, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland was in Rome to be appointed the first Scottish Cardinal since the Reformation. Pope Paul VI gave him further relics of St. Andrew with the words "Saint Peter gives you his brother". These are now displayed in a reliquary in St. Mary's Roman Catholic Cathedral in Edinburgh.
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#18
cheyenne 09

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A Scottish Christmas


Many individuals believe that there are few remaining traditions for such a celebration; they are greatly mistaken. Many customs, both old and new, survived the antipathy of the post-reformation period in Scotland. Looking back away, Christmas itself was banned in Great Britain by an act of Parliament in 1652, citing it as pagan and "pope-ish." When the holiday was reinstated, a decade or so later, it never truly regained what it had been in Scotland, a very special time of the year. How can these traditions, mostly dating back well over 350 years, be incorporated into your Christmas plans?

Let's begin with the tree. German in origin, the Christmas tree is obviously significant to the holiday itself, but in ancient days it was juniper and mistletoe that decorated the homes of the Highlands. Their presence was a sign of the much sought after greenery that the Scots hoped for during the long winter months and a symbol of love.

Today, the Christmas tree of Scotland, if there were such an official distinction, would have to be the Scots Pine, the only pine native to Scotland. A trip to your local tree farm, as a family, might serve tradition well, of course artificial Scots Pines are also very pleasant these days, and well worth a look.

Taking place long before the holiday season, a Yule log is selected from a supplier of firewood. This "burning heart of the season, the living symbol of all the warm emotions and bright thoughts," in Scotland at least, must be Birch wood. If one is taking the traditional route the log must be cut at least by the summer time and allowed to dry properly. It should be size consistent with the capacity of modern fireplaces; the larger the better, of course discretion is advised, since it must not be split. Stripped of its bark, the yule log may be displayed at the beginning of the holiday season next to the fireplace, decorated with greenery and plaid ribbons.

On Christmas Eve, the tradition is that the log must be brought (if previously displayed, then brought outside first) into the home in ceremonial fashion, with the men of the family walking in line, oldest first (carrying the log), followed by the next oldest and so on. This peculiar group of Scots must tour the kitchen three times, then place the birch near the fireplace, where the head of the household makes a traditional Christmas toast: "Joy, Joy. May God shower joy upon us, my dear (wife, children, family...). Christmas brings us all good things. God give us grace to see the New Year; and if we do not increase in numbers may we at all events not decrease."

Some clansmen choose this time to toast the Chief, others just observe a moment of silence. The log is then placed into the fire, which has been kindled with the remaining wood from the previous year's Yule log. This in itself is an interesting practice, unusual, but nevertheless interesting.

Each year the remaining wood from the Yule log is placed under the bed of the lady of the house as a "charm" against fire, the idea being that the wood is saving it's own fire to kindle next Christmas' hearth. It is considered the worst of luck (after all, superstitions were prevalent in the Highlands) to let the fire go out on Christmas Eve, since that was the time when the elves are abroad and only a good, roaring fire will keep them from slipping down the chimney to help themselves of one's Christmas Eve meal, among other things. Whether these are the same elves that "Santa" uses is doubtful and the parents are responsible with the task of allowing the fire to burn down to a safe level in the early morning hours as to let Santa, or as his kilted counterpart is called, MacNicholas or Father Christmas, safely enter with presents for all.

Christmas Eve fare traditionally consists of Scottish versions of mince meat pies, wassail and fresh oatmeal bread. The mince meat pies are an age old favorite in Scotland, commonly being replaced by bridies, meat pies or pasties. In times gone by, the pie was shaped rectangular, to represent the manger in which Jesus was born. The traditional mince meat pie used to actually contain minced meat, but over the years has been taken over by dried fruit and spices, leaving only a few ounces of suet in the original recipe. All considered, the bridies and their kin are far more suitable replacements for the Scottish family.

Wassail, another British favorite, is unique in Scotland. The drink usually consists of ale, roast apples, eggs, sugar and spices, but Scotch has found its way into the ingredients north of the River Esk. This drink is routinely made for the entire family, both young and old, by substitutions that render it a mulled and spice apple cider with personality. It is customary to leave a meat pie and some wassail out for Father Christmas to partake of during his long night of delivering presents.

Rounding out this evening's light menu is hot, fresh, homemade bread, traditionally oatmeal based. On a cold winter's night, with the family gathered together, nothing compares to the mingled aroma of fresh bread, mulled wassail, meat pies, fresh-cut pine and kindled, fired wood.

As for the entertainment, one practice of olden-times is worth attention.

A month or so before the holidays, a member of the family is appointed to be in charge of Christmas festivities. In the past this individual was called "The Abbot of Unreason" and was responsible for entertainment, merrymaking, mayhem and laughter. Before they too were banned by an act of Parliament, they oversaw activities in large families, courts and towns. Dressed in mock clerical robes, they planned everything from games to skits to song and dance. While the robes and title "Abbot" are long gone, this tradition is significant in that it brings laughter and activity to a holiday that is usually quite sedate.

Traditionally, the main skit involves a hero who is brought to the brink of death through his or her gallantry, only to be revived by what might be called a peculiar doctor figure toward the end. This type of skit or play is called mumming, and has been performed throughout Great Britain for countless generations. The characters will usually seek out makeshift costumes and masks during their mumming and are led by "The Abbot" in their merrymaking. Many families plan these skits and other acts at the last minute and the main share of the action goes to the children, much to the amusement of the adults. Of course, parents are regularly drawn into action, either at the request of the Abbot or simply to share in the fun.

First thing Christmas morning family members awaken to the smell of a piping-hot bowl of new sowens, which is brought to them in bed. Traditionally the husks and siftings of oats, boiled to the consistency of molasses, their modern day equivalent would be oat bran, which is available at natural health stores. If this sounds as generally unappetizing as it truly is, regular oatmeal will do just fine, served with generous additions of butter, cream and sugar. Once each family member finishes their sowens, they may proceed promptly to the Christmas tree, where they may longingly inspect their wrapped presents while awaiting the rest of the family.

Christmas day is usually a quiet, pleasant time which is spent visiting family, attending church services and just possibly seeing a return visit by everyone's favorite (or by this time not so favorite) the Abbot of Unreason. The yule log is restoked, since no one would want the elves to enter and abscond all the newly acquired presents and the Christmas feast is prepared.

Over the years many main dishes have become traditional in the Highlands, namely: Roast Angus Beef, Roast Goose, Venison, Salmon, Chicken, Pheasant and Boar, to name just a few. As for side dishes, vastly popular are: plum porridge/pudding, [bleep]-a-leekie, lamb stew and "neeps and tatties." Bowls of fruit, numerous pies and sweets are also found in abundance during the feast.

Regardless of the effects that the reformation had upon Christmas, traditions do still exist in Scotland and with those of Scottish descent. Some might seem a bit peculiar, or out of place, but nevertheless they remain in the memories of Scots worldwide. Embracing just a few of them, or possible adapting them to one's own vision of Scottish tradition will ensure that they never truly disappear.



CUSTOMS OF OLD SCOTLAND


Christmas & New Year were equally welcomed by Scots before the Reformation of the 16th-17th centuries. All the customs of both festivals stem from that time.
The name comes from the Scandinavians, for whom 'Yultid' was the festival celebrated at the twelfth month, being the twelfth name of Odin, who was supposed to come to earth in December, disguised in a hooded cloak. He would sit awhile at the firesides listening to the people, and where there was want he left a gift of bread or coins. (Strains of Father Christmas here!)

Christmas was often known as Nollaig Beag , Little Christmas. The custom was to celebrate the Birth of Christ with all solemnity, the festivities began a few days later, and spilled into New Year and Twelfth Night, which was known as 'Little Christmas'. However, the French often called Christmas colloquially, 'Homme est né' (Man is Born) which is thought by some scholars to be the origin of the word, 'Hogmanay', steaming from the time of the 'Auld Alliance'.

The Reformation hit Scotland as hard as everywhere else. By 1583, Bakers who made the Yulebreads were fined, their punishment could be lessened if they gave the names of their customers!

In 1638 the General Assembly in Edinburgh tried to abolish Yuletide.

While the same things were going on south of the border, with the Restoration of the Monarchy came the restoration of Christmas. In Scotland, the rigid laws of the new Kirk still frowned upon Christmas celebration, so it stayed underground. Only the High church and the Catholics kept the old traditions going.

In England many of the symbolisms and earlier religious elements were lost, and it took the intrepid Victorian historians to gather together the remnants and re-establish Christmas, an effort which was helped by the strongly Christmas orientated Royal family with its German Prince Consort. The Reformation in Germany had hardly touched Christmas at all, and Prince Albert brought it all to the public eye.

English custom was not particularly accepted by Scotland. The inherent need to celebrate came out in Scotland as a great revival of the New Year celebrations. In fact, hardly changed at all because Old Christmas comprised three days of solemn Tribune, church services, fasting and hard work. Church on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Followed by a day of Charity on the Feast of Stephen and which we now call Boxing Day. No-one would have thought much about parties and frolics until after these days were over. Then the solemnity gave way to joyous and often rowdy celebration and holiday under the name of 'Homme est né' or Hogmanay.

Being intended by the reformed church, as a day of prayer, the puritanical elements gradually closed in on all those who defied the new laws and continued their festivities. In England soldiers were chosen especially for their noses a long nose was thought to be able to sniff out the spices in the Christmas Baking better! In Scotland the Bakers were encouraged to bake inform on their customers. In their attempts to stamp out frivolity, they prescribed that Christmas would be a working day. So it became the custom to work over Christmas.

This prevailed throughout the whole of Britain, especially in the working classes. Until 40 years ago postmen, bakers, transport workers, and medical staff were commonly expected to work, but because of the Victorian revival of Christmas in England, many other establishments closed, while in Scotland shops and many offices stayed open.

However, this did not mean that people did not celebrate Christmas. Often they would go to Church before work, or at Lunchtime, or in the evening. They would have a Christmas Tree and a Christmas Dinner and children went to bed expecting that kindly old gentleman to call with a gift or two.

CUSTOMS & BELIEFS ASSOCIATED WITH SCOTTISH CHRISTMAS


Black Bun. Originally Twelfth Night Cake. It is a very rich fruit cake, almost solid with fruit, almonds, spices and the ingredients are bound together with plenty of Whisky. The stiff mixture is put into a cake tin lined with a rich short pastry and baked.

This takes the place of the even more ancient Sun Cakes. A legacy from Scotland's close associations with Scandinavia. Sun cakes were baked with a hole in the centre and symmetrical lines around, representing the rays of the Sun. This pattern is now found on the modern Scottish Shortbread, and has been misidentified as convenient slices marked onto the shortbread!

Bees leave hives Xmas Morn. There is an old belief that early on Christmas Morning all bees will leave their hives, swarm, and then return. Many old Scots tell tales of having witnessed this happening, though no-one can explain why. One explanation is that bees get curious about their surroundings, and if there is unexpected activity they will want to check it out to see if there is any danger. As people were often up and about on Christmas night observing various traditions, or just returning from the night services, the bees would sense the disturbance and come out to see what was going on.

Divination customs - Ashes, Bull, Cailleach
There are a number of ancient divination customs associated with Scottish Christmas tradition. One involves checking the cold ashes the morning after the Christmas fire. A foot shape facing the door was said to be foretelling a death in the family, while a foot facing into the room meant a new arrival.

Another was the ceremonial burning of Old Winter, the Cailleach. A piece of wood was carved roughly to represent the face of an old woman, then named as the Spirit of Winter, the Cailleach. This was placed onto a good fire to burn away, and all the family gathered had to watch to the end. The burning symbolised the ending of all the bad luck and enmities etc of the old year, with a fresh start.

The Candlemas Bull was in reality a cloud. It was believed that a bull would cross the sky in the form of a cloud, early on the morning on Candlemas, February 2nd. From its appearance people would divine. An East travelling cloud foretold a good year, south meant a poor grain year, but if it faced to the west the year would be poor. This custom was a remnant of the ancient Mithraiac religion, when the Bull-god would come at the start of Spring to warn of the year the farmers could expect.

CANDLELIGHT

All of the Celtic countries have a similar custom of lighting a candle at Christmastime to light the way of a stranger.

In Scotland was the Oidche Choinnle, or Night of Candles. Candles were placed in every window to light the way for the Holy Family on Christmas Eve and First Footers on New Years Eve. Shopkeepers gave their customers Yule Candles as a symbol of goodwill wishing them a 'Fire to warm you by, and a light to guide you'.

FIRST FOOTERS

It was and still is the custom for a stranger to enter the house after midnight on New Years Eve/Day. There were taboos about the luck such a stranger would bring, especially in the days of hospitality to travelling strangers. A fair haired visitor was considered bad luck in most areas, partly due to the in-fighting between the dark scots and the fair Norse invaders. However, in Christian times, a fair haired man was considered very lucky providing his name was Andrew! Because St Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland. A woman is considered taboo still in many areas!

The Firstfooter must make an offering, a HANDSEL. This can be food, drink or fuel for the fire. The ritual which have grown up around this custom are many. An offering of food or drink must be accepted by sharing it with everyone present, including the visitor. Fuel, must be placed onto the fire by the visitor with the words 'A Good New Year to one and all and many may you see'. In todays often fireless society the fuel is usually presented as a polished piece of coal, or wood which can be preserved for the year as an ornament.

Sayings eg : Is blianach Nollaid gun sneachd - Christmas without snow is poor fare.
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#19
cheyenne 09

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Traditional Scottish Christmas Recipes


SCOTTISH SHORTBREAD

This biscuit type cake is a modern version of a very ancient cake or Bannock, which was baked in honour of the Sun. Nowadays, we make marks which divide the biscuit into slices or wedges, but these marks originally were symbolic of the rays of the sun. Bannock was the old name which was used to describe a mix baked in a large flat round shape, and generally hardish like biscuit rather than cake texture.

For this recipe you need to line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Cream together 4oz butter, 3oz caster sugar (very fine). Mix in 8 oz flour & a pinch of salt. This should be a stiff dough, pliable enough to roll our like pastry. If too crumbly, add a tiny drop at a tine of ice cold water (from the fridge).
Roll out to 1/8 inch thick only. A tip here, I roll it out on a piece of baking parchment, and then lift it onto my baking tray complete with the parchment. It breaks very easily! Define a large circle by cutting around a dinner plate . Remove the bits. Then take a small circular cutter and cut away a centre hole, but not right through, just enough to get the indented shape of a circle (or a sun!). Make eight evenly spaced 'rays' or wedges around the cake. Pierce each wedge three times with a fork.. Bake in a pre heated oven at 350 Fahrenheit, 180 Centigrade for about 20 minutes. It will be softish when you take it out, but will harden as it cools - like cookies.


SCOTTISH BLACK BUN

This cake in a crust is the traditional New Year cake in Scotland. Every housewife has her own variations. This one is from a family recipe book

Preparation
First make a 1lb weight of short crust pastry your usual method. Leave to chill.

Take a springform (if possible) cake tin, and line with baking parchment. Set aside.

Mix together
1teaspoon each of cinnamon, ground ginger, 1/4 fresh grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper.

Weigh into large bowl 10oz plain flour and 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda, mix well. Add 4oz Demerara sugar, then the spices, and weigh in 1lb currants, 1lb raisins, 4oz broken or flaked almonds, 4oz mixed candied peel.
Mix altogether well.

Add two beaten eggs, 5 tablespoons buttermilk (or milk will do) & two or three tablespoons whisky. Mix to a stiff sticky dough.

Roll out 2/3rds of the pastry and line the caketin with this. Press the fruit mixture into the pastry shell so that it is filled densely. Roll out the rest of the pastry to form a lid, and put on top in the usual way, moistening the edges with water to make then stick.

Take a long skewer, and pierce several times, right through the cake till you feel the tip touch the tin bottom. Brush the lid with a mixture of egg and milk, and bake in a pre-heated oven at 325 Fahrenheit; 170 Centigrade for about three hours. Test with skewer, when it is done, the skewer will not have any cake mix sticking to it.

Serve with coffee, or as the Scots do, with a wee dram of whisky!


DUNDEE CAKE

This cake is popular throughout Britain as an alternative to Christmas Cake. It is less rich, and not so indigestible. But it is originally a Scottish Christmas cake from Dundee.

Line an 8" cake tin with baking parchment. I prefer to use springform tins, as they are easier.. Set aside.

Cream together 8oz butter & 8oz sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in 4 eggs, one at a time, with a little flour taken from the total weight of 10oz. This stops the eggs curdling.. Stir in orange rind, finely grated.

Sift together the rest of the flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt. Use plain flour and baking powder if you can, as it gives a better stability for the heavy fruit.

Fold the flour mix into the creamed mixture and add 2 oz ground almonds, 1lb of mixed dried fruits and 4 oz candied peels.

Spoon into the prepared tin, smooth the surface, hollow it slightly in the middle so that when it rises it will not peak. Arrange whole blanched almonds around the top. Brush all over with beaten egg white. Bake in a pre-heated oven 325 Fahrenheit, 170Centigrade for about three hours. After the first hour, put a sheet of baking parchment on top, to prevent it going too dark and burning. Test with skewer, when it comes out clean the cake is ready.




MAISIE MAGENNIS DUMPLING

Ingredients: 1 lb.Self-Raising Flour
2 cups of Sugar
small packet Mixed Spice
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Ginger
4 oz.Vegetable Suet (e.g."Atore" brand or similar)
2 lbs.Seedless Raisins, Californian
1 grated Apple
1 grated Carrot


Also, Linen Cloth to contain all ingredients while cooking. And a Pot big enough to take it all.

Mix together all dry ingredients then add raisins, suet, grated apple and grated carrot. Mix with cold water to a stiff batter.

Dust Cloth with flour, after rinsing the bottom of Cloth in boiling water. Tie Cloth tightly, but leave space to swell; tied halfway up is about right. Put in Pot.

Fill Pot with boiling water. Keep boiling and simmering for at least three hours.

-o0o-

At the stiff batter stage, we used to put silver threepenny pieces, wrapped in greaseproof paper, into the dumpling for the children to find. You might try the same with your decimal equivalent of the Silver "Thruppny".... Please Remember if you put a Coin in the Cake WARN your Guests so they Don't SWALLOW it


VENISON STEW

Today, most Scots will have their Turkey like everyone else. But Venison Stew is a rich traditional Scottish dish which would grace any Christmas table. Popular on tables of gentlefolk at Christmastide and New Year in the 18th-19th century.

Cut 1lb lean venison into strips. Cut off the rind from 1lb streaky bacon. Put 1oz butter into a non-stick pan, and brown the two meats briskly. Add salt & pepper to taste. Slice small 1lb carrots, a stick of celery, 1 large onion and grated peel of one orange. Add to meats. Then put in about 3/4 pint milk, just to cover meat, add a spray of thyme, and cover. Simmer for two hours until venison is tender.

Remove meat & vegetables, thicken juices with a little flour, and then add 2 tablespoons whisky and 1/4 pint cream. Heat gently until thick and smooth. Pour over the meat and vegetables in the dish. Grate a little cheese over, and brown in the oven until it bubbles.

Serve with buttered mashed potatoes and buttered mashed swedes or turnips - if you can get them



Traditional Scottish New Year Celebrations or Hogmanay,


Perhaps the thing that heralds Hogmanay and New Year around the world is the singing of Auld Lang Syne, the Robert Burns song that so epitomises the spirit of the season. It is at that time that Scots tend towards the sentimental, thinking of folks no longer there or far away.

In Scotland, Hogmanay is a time to gather together with friends and family and consider the past year. It is a time of hope, a looking forward to a better year and a time when people resolve to improve their lives and the lives of others


Whilst the Reformers could ban Christmas, they had no say at all in the celebration of the New Year. Right up until the 1950s, New Year was the major event of the festive season - except Scots don't celebrate New Year, they celebrate Hogmanay.

After all this time, there is still no consensus on what Hogmanay means. Hogmanay as we know it is a cocktail of various different religious and social rituals. Initially it was a Druid or pagan celebration, probably to do with the winter solstice. Elements of the Roman festival of Saturnalia and the Viking celebrations of Yule can also be found in the celebrations in Scotland.

In Translation

Gaelic - oge maiden, "New Morning"
Celtic - hogunnus,
"new year"
Flemish - hoog min dag, "great love day"
Old French - aguillanneuf, a gift given on last day of the year
Old English - haleg monaþ, "holy month"


New Year gifts
and their symbolism

Coal = Warmth
Cake = Food
Salt = Wealth

It has always been important to go into Hogmanay with a clean sweep, both literally and metaphorically. Before Hogmanay, a huge spring clean begins, although few houses continue with the older tradition of burning juniper to rid the house of evil spirits. Socks are darned, windows washed and, where possible, life resolutions are undertaken.

On the stroke of midnight it is still common for houses to be "first footed" by a tall, handsome stranger bearing gifts. Although the first-footer is seldom a stranger, it is preferable that he is dark. This harks back to days of Viking invaders when a fair-haired man knocking at your door was more likely to inspire terror than pleasure.

Until quite recently the first-footer was subject to a rather rigorous code of looks. Out-of-date now, there was a time when a first-footer should not be flat-footed, cross-eyed or have their eyebrows meeting (thought to denote the evil eye). All congenitally disabled people were feared as first-footers and actively discouraged from people's houses – again no longer the case.

The first-footer still brings gifts. Whisky, food and a lump of coal are the main trio of traditions that come with the first-footer – a sign of how little has really changed from times past. (The medieval clergy gave food to the parish poor, which in itself was reminiscent of pagan food offerings.)

Perhaps the thing that heralds Hogmanay and New Year around the world is the singing of Auld Lang Syne, the Robert Burns song that so epitomises the spirit of the season. It is at that time that Scots tend towards the sentimental, thinking of folks no longer there or far away.

Both Glasgow and Edinburgh have become renowned for their celebration of Hogmanay. The parties attract visitors from across the world, who gather together to celebrate with music, singing, fireworks, dancing and friendship.

It's traditional in Scotland to go "first-footing" on Hogmanay, a wonderful excuse to go out visiting friends and partying all night, but certain things are essential to make your New Year go with a swing.
Here's our pocket guide....

Hawf (half) Bottle
Your most important travelling companion. For it's traditional - and polite - to offer just about everyone you see a "dram". It's also traditional for it to be whisky. Though in these more cosmopolitan times, it could be anything alcoholic.

Lump of Coal
In days of yore never mind the whisky, it was traditional for First Footers to carry a lump of coal with them. This was lovingly placed on the host's fire. If you're determined to do Hogmanay by the book then take the coal by all means but be prepared for some grief when you set it on top of the central heating radiators!

Toasts
Not pieces of carbonised bread in case of hunger pangs on your New Year yomp, but the good wishes you bestow on Hogmanay gatherings.

A simple and appropriate one is:
A guid New Year to ane an a' And mony may ye see
(A good New Year to one and all And many may you see)

The more jingoistic may offer:
Here's tae us. Wha's like us. [bleep] few, and they're a' deid!
(Here's to us. Who's like us. Not many, and they're all dead!)

Depending on the type of gathering you are attending you may hear other "toasts". They could be:
Gaun yoursel', Big Man!
(You're a big chap, drinking a lot and are going to continue to do so!)

Gie it laldie!
(Party furiously!)

Map
An absolutely essential item. Not to make sure you get home again - rather to make sure you don't! Have it all marked up with the best parties and bashes so you don't miss a jig!

Six Pack
Not so much in case the whisky runs out. More in case your party spirit runs dry. Then it makes a handy seat on the pavement while you await that elusive taxi home. However, should you be actually taking it to drink then make sure it's "good quality" Jocko Brew, hand it over generously to your hosts and quickly find something more palatable.

A Tall, Dark Handsome Stranger
The first person to cross the threshold at Hogmanay brings all the luck, good or bad, for the year ahead. And, to follow in tradition they have to fulfil certain criteria.
They have to be male, tall, dark and handsome. They cannot be doctors, ministers or grave-diggers (!) - oh, and your first footer cannot have eyebrows that meet in the middle! If you do find a first footer that fits the bill (for remember, we Scots might be handsome but, as a race, we're not renowned for our height) then hang on to them - you could make a packet!
Being a First Footer is great because tradition dictates you can claim a kiss from every lady in the place!


Hogmanay An All Night Party Full of Fun

Please Remember to Stay Safe Don't Drink and drive and remember to Eat while Drinking

Edited by cheyenne 09, 20 December 2006 - 03:41 AM.

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#20
cheyenne 09

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Happy NEW YEAR To Everyone Here At Geeks To Go
May you all have a Great YEAR :whistling:
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#21
cheyenne 09

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Traditional Scottish Recipes

Chicken Casserole

Ingredients For Chicken Casserole:


65g Butter/margarine
1 finely chopped onion
125g sliced mushrooms
2 finely chopped celery sticks
400g tin of tomatoes
4 chicken joints
225g long grain brown or white rice
600mls stock
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon mixed herbs



Cooking Directions For Chicken Casserole:


1. Melt the butter in a pan and then brown the chicken pieces. Drain off the fat and place the chicken into a casserole dish.


2. Fry the onion, rice and celery for about 4 minutes then add the tomatoes, stock, sugar and the herbs. Bring to the boil whilst stirring.


3. Pour the mixture over the chicken, cover the casserole dish and cook at 400f, 200c or gas mark 6 for about an hour.


4. Heat the remaining butter and fry the mushrooms for 2 minutes before adding to the casserole.


Stovies

Stovies Ingredients:


Left over Beef diced up
4 large Tatties partially boiled and sliced
1 thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon of dripping from the cooked beef
A wee bit of beef stock
Salt and Pepper


Stovies Cooking Directions:

1. Add a wee bit of lard to a pot and gently cook the onions until soft. Add the beef (chicken/lamb can be used if prefered). Add salt and pepper.


2. Cover with tattie slices and cover with the stock depending on how moist you prefer the meal. We add a wee bit and top up as required.


3. Simmer on the hob for about an hour or cook in the oven at 190c for about 50 minutes.

4. Serve piping hot with oatcakes, beetroot and skirlie.


Rowies Recipe ( They are also known as morning rolls )

Ingredients For Aberdeen Butteries:


250g butter
125g lard
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
500g flour
2 teaspoons of dried yeast
450ml warm water
Pinch of salt



Baking Directions For Aberdeen Butteries:


1. Make a paste from the yeast, sugar and a wee bit of the warm water and set aside.


2. Mix the flour and the salt together. Once the yeast has bubbled up add this and mix well to a dough and leave to rise.


3. Cream the butter and lard and divide into three portions.

4. Once the dough has doubled in size give it a good knead then roll into a rectangle about 1cm thick.

5. Then spread one portion of the butter mixture over two thirds of the dough.

6. Fold the remining third of the dough over onto the butter mixture and fold the other bit over - giving three layers. Roll this back to the original size.

7. Allow to cool for 40 minutes.

8. Repeat stages 5-7 twice more.

9. Cut the dough into 16 pieces and shape each to a rough circle and place on baking trays.

10. Set aside to rise for about 45 minutes then bake at 200c for 15 minutes.


Aberdeen Butteries are named after their high lard content. They are also known as morning rolls and rowies and are a traditional Aberdeen roll. The best way to describe their look and taste is a saltier, flatter and greasier Croissant. Which doesnae sound nice, but these are really delicious and filling for breakfast. They can be eaten cold and as an on the go breakfast can be toasted, buttered and with strawberry jam, Great with a mug of tea.


Haggis Recipe

Andrew's Day and Burn's Night.

Haggis Ingredients:


1 sheep's stomach bag
1 sheep's pluck - liver, lungs and heart
3 onions
250g beef Suet
150g oatmeal
salt and black pepper
a pinch of cayenne
150mls of stock/gravy



Haggis Cooking Directions:


1. Clean the stomach bag thoroughly and soak overnight. In the morning turn it inside out.

2. Wash the pluck and boil for 1.5 hours, ensuring the windpipe hangs over the pot allowing drainage of the impurities.

3. Mince the heart and lungs and grate half the liver.

4. Chop up the onions and suet.

5. Warm the oatmeal in the oven.

6. Mix all the above together and season with the salt and pepper. Then add the cayenne.

7. Pour over enough of the pluck boiled water to make the mixture watery.

8. Fill the bag with the mixture until it's half full.

9. Press out the air and sew the bag up.

10. Boil for 3 hours (you may need to [bleep] the bag with a wee needle if it looks like blowing up!) without the lid on.

11. Serve with neeps and tatties.


Easier method:

Ingredients:


2 lamb kidneys
350g lamb shoulder
125g beef suet
250g beef liver
1 cup of oatmeal
1 cup of stock (tastier if you reserve this from when you boil the meat)
2 pureed onions
salt and pepper



Cooking Directions:


1. Boil the meat for about an hour and allow to cool. Then chop the meats into wee pieces but grate the liver.


2. Toast the oatmeal in the oven in a shallow dish and shake occasionally.


3. Mix all the ingredients together.


4. Pop into a well greased glass bowl and cover with several layers of foil and steam in a pan of boiling water for two hours.


5. Serve with neeps and tatties.

Haggis History

Haggis is traditionally made with a sheep's stomach which has been stuffed with the offal of the sheep, the heart, lungs and liver. Other traditional ingredients include suet, oatmeal and seasonings. Scottish butchers vary their ingredients and often add a secret ingredient. Many now make vegetarian haggis and it is even possible to buy tinned haggis. Some haggis are now encased in man made casings rather than the traditional sheep's stomach.

You can also get a fillet of chicken breast and stuff with haggis which may have been soaked in malt whisky

Scottish Tablet Recipe (also called Scottish Toffee) But well worth it:



Tablet Ingredients:


1 teacup of milk
Large tin of condensed milk
900g of sugar
100g of butter




Tablet Cooking Directions:


1. Melt the butter and sugar. Add the condensed milk and the teacup of milk.


2. Stir and turn up the heat and keep stirring until it reaches boiling point.


3. Turn the heat down low and stir for 45 minutes (chair and book optional!)


4. Remove from the heat and beat 60 times with a wooden spoon. Put a wee bit on a plate and if it sets then it's ready to be put onto the shallow trays.


5. Score the tablet surface marking into squares and allow to set and get cold.


6. Best washed down with Irn Bru! Traditional Soft Drink also Known as the other National Drink but alcohol Free just like Coca Cola or Lemonade



Coconut Ice Recipe

How To Make Coconut Ice

Ingredients For Coconut Ice:


340g desiccated coconut
340g icing sugar
400g tin of condensed milk
Optional food colouring



Cooking Directions For Coconut Ice:


1. Place the condensed milk into a bowl and add the icing sugar. Beat well then mix in the desiccated coconut. The mixture will get firm and difficult to stir but persevere until everything is all combined.

2. Divide the mixture into two (add optional food colourings to each) and spread into an 8inch square tin giving two coloured layers and allow to set overnight (time for a wee dram!)

3. Cut into small cubes and spread on a sheet of greaseproof paper to dry slightly.

4. Enjoy and remember to share with the wee bairns or Kids


Alternative Suggestions:

Add edible colourings for a festive or seasonal variety - black and orange at Halloween, blue and white on St.Andrew's Day, or red and pink at Valentine's.


Oat Cookies Recipe

Ingredients For Oat Cookies makes 18


100g soft margarine
50g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
25g rolled oats



Cooking Directions For Oat Cookies:


1. Cream the margarine and sugar together. Gradually work in the flour.

2. Form into balls about 1inch square and toss in the oats

3. Place on a greased baking sheet and flatten slightly with a fork.

4. Bake at 180c 350f or gas mark 4 for 15 minutes.


Alternative Suggestions:


Replace sugar with 50g of grated cheese and add salt and pepper for cheese cookies.

Replace 15g flour with 25g of drinking chocolate and omit the oats for chocolate cookies.

Omit the oats and add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the flour for a delicious spicy cookie.


Pancake Recipe

Pancakes aren't just for pancake day!!! They are delicious as a snack or for a leisurely breakfast

Pancake Ingredients:
(Makes 4):


1 egg
300ml milk
Cooking oil
100g plain flour
Pinch of salt



Cooking Directions For Pancakes:


1. Combine the flour with the salt in a bowl and make a wee well in the centre of the bowl and add the egg.


2. Whisk/stir well whilst adding the milk. Pour the mixture into a jug.


3. Heat a wee bit of oil in a frying pan, ensuring it cover all areas of the pan. Pour some mixture into the pan (be heavy handed if, like me, you love thick pancakes), ensuring it's spread evenly.


4. Cook until one side is a nice golden brown colour and turn over to cook the other side - loons should attempt to flip this over as high as possible to impress the lassies!


5. Cook until the other side is golden brown colour and serve with lemon juice, sprinkled sugar, maple syrup or a favourite topping.



Kedgeree Recipe

Kedgeree was introduced to India by Scottish soldiers serving in India Kedgeree is often thought to be an Indian dish but it is in Fact Scottish



Ingredients For Kedgeree:


350g rice
2 smoked haddocks (need to crumble it)
50g butter
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons of tomato ketchup
4 hard boiled egg
pinch of cayenne or 1 teaspoon of curry powder
1 small chopped onion
750mls chicken stock
1 bay leaf
300ml milk



Cooking Directions For Kedgeree:


1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the onion.

2. Stir in the rice to coat it.

3. Add the chicken stock and bay leaf and bring to the boil.

4. Cook at 180c for 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the chicken stock. Poach the haddocks in the milk for 5 minutes whilst the rice is cooking.

5. Break up the fish and add to the cooked rice along with the other ingredients

6. Add the cayenne/curry powder.
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#22
cheyenne 09

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Traditional Scottish Soup Recipes

Scotch Broth Soup Recipe

Traditionally Scotch Broth is a bit of everything thrown into the pot and is quite a filling soup. In olden days Scots would eat this as a main meal. In modern times many Scottish households still serve Scotch Broth as a main meal rather than a starter soup. Ingredients can be substituted depending on your own tastes. It's best made the day before to allow the full flavour to soak through. We make a huge pot of it and boil it up each day, adding more tatties and water as needed. It is very warming when eaten during the winter and is popular on New Year’s Day.

Scotch Broth Soup Ingredients:

1kg neck of mutton or lamb (or chicken) or any other meat that you like
75g pearl barley
1 large onion
75g split peas or fresh peas
1 large leek
3 wee neeps (turnip)
1 swede
water depending on thickness required - try 2.5 litres
3 carrots
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley
salt and pepper
small cabbage (optional)



Scotch Broth Soup

Cooking Directions:

1. Pre soak the barley and split peas

2. Chop all the vegetables

3. Melt a wee bit of lard/cooking oil and add the chopped onion. Once softened add the water and meat (you can just add stock rather than boil meat) and boil, skimming off any fatty deposits from the top.

4. After boiling for about half an hour add the barley and peas and simmer for another 30 minutes.

5. Add the remaining vegetables.

6. If used, remove the bone and strip off the meat and return this to the pot.

7. Give the dog the bone once it's cooled!

8. Add parsley before serving. Great with warmed bread rolls.

9. If making a big pot full it'll keep out provided you boil and stir each day.

Spicy Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Spicy Red Lentil Soup Ingredients:


1 medium sized onion
3 medium carrots and potatoes
1 red pepper
125g red lentils (soak for 1 hour prior to cooking)
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of turmeric
A pinch of cinnamon
A pinch of cayenne pepper
A 400g can of tomatoes
750ml of water or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon of basil
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper



Spicy Red Lentil Soup

Cooking Directions:


1. Chop the vegetables finely.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil and fry spices.

3. Add vegetables and lentils and stir and coat vegetables with spices. Cook for about 5 minutes.

4. Cut up tomatoes, put them in a measuring jug and add enough water or stock to make 1.2 litres.

5. Add this with basil and bay leaf to pan of vegetables. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.

6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more water or stock if necessary.

Salmon Potato and Pasta Broth Recipe

Salmon Potato and Pasta Broth Ingredients:

600g salmon fillets, roughly cut
350g potatoes, cut into wee cubes
150g baby spinach
1.3 litres vegetable stock
1 finely chopped chilli
1 chopped onion
2 finely chopped garlic cloves
200g thin macaroni
1 tablespoon olive oil



Salmon Potato and Pasta Broth

Cooking Directions:

1. In a large pan heat the oil and add the onion and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic, tatties and the chilli. Stir and add the vegetable stock.


2. Simmer until the tatties are almost soft.


3. In a separate pan fully cook the macaroni in boiling water then drain the water.


4. Add the spinach and cooked macaroni to the macaroni pan and mix well. Add this mixture to the tatties and vegetables, then stir in the salmon pieces.


5. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until the salmon is cooked.


6. Serve - delicious with warmed rolls and butter.


Enjoy
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#23
warriorscot

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I've neither heard or seen of half of the "christmas" traditions, ever even when ive been up north, and you don't really do first footing anymore at least not until after new years usually they day or two after if at all.

And i dont think ive ever had scotch broth with peas, and not a swede dont you mean a turnip.
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#24
cheyenne 09

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Hi warriorscot
With Respect to your comments a lot of these things have changed over the last few hundred years and some people do not now keep up with these older Traditions but i myself am the Last of Seven children and i can Remember some of these things and in my Family it is Traditional for someone to first foot the household and on the soup front there are in fact Peas in most soups wither you can see them or not and if you go to any supermarket and look at tinned scotch broth they if fact do contain Peas and about the Turnip most people know turnips as small round vegtables Not the Big Turnips that we use here in Scotland as these are called swedes in England for example i know you are a young Man so you should possibly ask Grandparent's or in some cases Great Grandparent's and most people now do there own thing at Christmas and New Year and as we all know New Year being a Major Holiday Here in Scotland.


:whistling: Cheyenne 09 :blink:

Edited by cheyenne 09, 18 January 2007 - 07:53 AM.

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#25
cheyenne 09

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Robert Burns, the National Bard of Scotland

Biography of Robert Burns

Robert Burns was born near Ayr, Scotland, 25th of January, 1759. He was the son of William Burnes, or Burness, at the time of the poet's birth a nurseryman on the banks of the Doon in Ayrshire. His father, though always extremely poor, attempted to give his children a fair education, and Robert, who was the eldest, went to school for three years in a neighboring village, and later, for shorter periods, to three other schools in the vicinity. But it was to his father and to his own reading that he owed the more important part of his education; and by the time that he had reached manhood he had a good knowledge of English, a reading knowledge of French, and a fairly wide acquaintance with the masterpieces of English literature from the time of Shakespeare to his own day.

In 1766 William Burness rented on borrowed money the farm of Mount Oliphant, and in taking his share in the effort to make this undertaking succeed, the future poet seems to have seriously overstrained his physique. In 1771 the family move to Lochlea, and Burns went to the neighboring town of Irvine to learn flax-dressing. The only result of this experiment, however, was the formation of an acquaintance with a dissipated sailor, whom he afterward blamed as the prompter of his first licentious adventures.


His father died in 1784, and with his brother Gilbert the poet rented the farm of Mossgiel; but this venture was as unsuccessful as the others. He had meantime formed an irregular intimacy with Jean Armour, for which he was censured by the Kirk-session. As a result of his farming misfortunes, and the attempts of his father-in-law to overthrow his irregular marriage with Jean, he resolved to emigrate; and in order to raise money for the passage he published (Kilmarnock, 1786) a volume of the poems which he had been composing from time to time for some years. This volume was unexpectedly successful, so that, instead of sailing for the West Indies, he went up to Edinburgh, and during that winter he was the chief literary celebrity of the season. An enlarged edition of his poems was published there in 1787, and the money derived from this enabled him to aid his brother in Mossgiel, and to take and stock for himself the farm of Ellisland in Dumfriesshire.

His fame as poet had reconciled the Armours to the connection, and having now regularly married Jean, he brought her to Ellisland, and once more tried farming for three years. Continued ill-success, however, led him, in 1791, to abandon Ellisland, and he moved to Dumfries, where he had obtained a position in the Excise. But he was now thoroughly discouraged; his work was mere drudgery; his tendency to take his relaxation in debauchery increased the weakness of a constitution early undermined; and he died at Dumfries in his thirty-eighth year.

It is not necessary here to attempt to disentangle or explain away the numerous amours in which he was engaged through the greater part of his life. It is evident that Burns was a man of extremely passionate nature and fond of conviviality; and the misfortunes of his lot combined with his natural tendencies to drive him to frequent excesses of self-indulgence. He was often remorseful, and he strove painfully, if intermittently, after better things.

Burns' poetry falls into two main groups: English and Scottish. His English poems are, for the most part, inferior specimens of conventional eighteenth-century verse. But in Scottish poetry he achieved triumphs of a quite extraordinary kind. Since the time of the Reformation and the union of the crowns of England and Scotland, the Scots dialect had largely fallen into disuse as a medium for dignified writing. Shortly before Burns' time, however, Allan Ramsay and Robert Fergusson had been the leading figures in a revival of the vernacular, and Burns received from them a national tradition which he succeeded in carrying to its highest pitch, becoming thereby, to an almost unique degree, the poet of his people.

He first showed complete mastery of verse in the field of satire. In "The Twa Herds," "Holy Willie's Prayer," "Address to the Unco Guid," "The Holy Fair," and others, he manifested sympathy with the protest of the so-called "New Light" party, which had sprung up in opposition to the extreme Calvinism and intolerance of the dominant "Auld Lichts." The fact that Burns had personally suffered from the discipline of the Kirk probably added fire to his attacks, but the satires show more than personal animus. The force of the invective, the keenness of the wit, and the fervor of the imagination which they displayed, rendered them an important force in the theological liberation of Scotland.

The Kilmarnock volume contained, besides satire, a number of poems like "The Twa Dogs" and "The Cotter's Saturday Night," which are vividly descriptive of the Scots peasant life with which he was most familiar; and a group like "Puir Mailie" and "To a Mouse," which, in the tenderness of their treatment of animals, revealed one of the most attractive sides of Burns' personality.

Many of his poems were never printed during his lifetime, the most remarkable of these being "The Jolly Beggars," a piece in which, by the intensity of his imaginative sympathy and the brilliance of his technique, he renders a picture of the lowest dregs of society in such a way as to raise it into the realm of great poetry.

But the real national importance of Burns is due chiefly to his songs. The Puritan austerity of the centuries following the Reformation had discouraged secular music, like other forms of art, in Scotland; and as a result Scottish song had become hopelessly degraded in point both of decency and literary quality. From youth Burns had been interested in collecting the fragments he had heard sung or found printed, and he came to regard the rescuing of this almost lost national inheritance in the light of a vocation.

About his song-making, two points are especially noteworthy: first, that the greater number of his lyrics sprang from actual emotional experiences; second, that almost all were composed to old melodies. While in Edinburgh he undertook to supply material for Johnson's "Musical Museum," and as few of the traditional songs could appear in a respectable collection, Burns found it necessary to make them over.

Sometimes he kept a stanza or two; sometimes only a line or chorus; sometimes merely the name of the air; the rest was his own. His method, as he has told us himself, was to become familiar with the traditional melody, to catch a suggestion from some fragment of the old song, to fix upon an idea or situation for the new poem; then, humming or whistling the tune as he went about his work, he wrought out the new verses, going into the house to write them down when the inspiration began to flag.

In this process is to be found the explanation of much of the peculiar quality of the songs of Burns. Scarcely any known author has succeeded so brilliantly in combining his work with folk material, or in carrying on with such continuity of spirit the tradition of popular song. For George Thomson's collection of Scottish airs he performed a function similar to that which he had had in the "Museum"; and his poetical activity during the last eight or nine years of his life was chiefly devoted to these two publications.

In spite of the fact that he was constantly in severe financial straits, he refused to accept any recompense for this work, preferring to regard it as a patriotic service. And it was, indeed, a patriotic service of no small magnitude. By birth and temperament he was singularly fitted for the task, and this fitness is proved by the unique extent to which his productions were accepted by his countrymen, and have passed into the life and feeling of his race.
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cheyenne 09

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The Act of Union 1707


Uniting the kingdoms of Scotland and England had been proposed for a hundred years before it actually happened in 1707.

Suspicion and mistrust between the two countries had prevented the union throughout the 17th century. The Scots feared that they would simply become another region of England, being swallowed up as had happened to Wales some four hundred years earlier. For England the fear that the Scots may take sides with France and rekindle the 'Auld Alliance' was decisive. England relied heavily on Scottish soldiers and to have them turn and join ranks with the French would have been disastrous.

A few financial incentives appear to have convinced some dithering Scottish MP's of the many potential benefits of a union with England. In the words of Robert Burns, they (the Scottish MP's) were "bought and sold for English gold".


The 'Old' Union Flag

In a poorly attended Scottish Parliament the MP's voted to agree the Union and on 16th January 1707 the Act of Union was signed. The Scottish parliament was dissolved and England and Scotland became one country.
Scotland kept its independence with respect to it's legal and religious systems, but coinage, taxation, sovereignty, trade , parliament and flag became one. The red cross of St. George combined with the blue cross of St. Andrew resulting in the 'old' union flag. This is popularly called the Union Jack, although strictly speaking, this only applies when it is flown on the jackstaff of a warship.


The Union flag that we recognise today did not appear until 1801, after another Act of Union, when the 'old' flag combined with the red cross of St. Patrick of Ireland.


Acts of Union 1707
Formation of the United Kingdom
Union of the Crowns (1603)
Acts of Union (1707)
Act of Union (1801)
Government of Ireland Act (1920)
Anglo–Irish Treaty (1921)
Royal & Parliamentary Titles Act (1927)

The Acts of Union were a pair of Acts of Parliament passed in 1706 and 1707 (taking effect on 1 May 1707) by, respectively, the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland. The acts were the implementation of the Treaty of Union negotiated between the two kingdoms. The Acts created a new state, the Kingdom of Great Britain, by merging the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland together. The two countries had shared a monarch since 1603, but had retained sovereign parliaments. The Acts of Union dissolved both Parliaments and replaced them with a new Parliament of Great Britain, based at Westminster, the former home of the English Parliament.


Background

Walter Thomas Monnington's 1925 painting called Parliamentary Union of England and Scotland 1707 hangs in the Palace of Westminster, depicting the official presentation of the law that formed the Kingdom of Great Britain.While there had been three attempts in 1606, 1667 and 1689 to unite the two countries by Acts of Parliament, these were the first Acts that had the will of both political establishments behind them, albeit for rather different reasons. In the English case, the purpose was to establish the Royal succession along Protestant lines in the same manner as provided for by the English Act of Settlement 1701, rather than that of the Scottish Act of Security 1704. The two countries had shared a king for much of the previous century. The English were now concerned that an independent Scotland with a different king, even if he were a Protestant, might make alliances against England.

In the Scottish case, union enabled Scotland to recover from the financial disaster wrought by the Darién scheme through English assistance and the lifting of measures put in place through the Alien Act to force the Scottish Parliament into compliance with the Act of Settlement.

The treaty consisted of 25 articles, 15 of which were economic in character. In Scotland, each article was voted on separately and several clauses in articles were delegated to specialised subcommittees. Article 1 of the treaty was based on the political principle of an incorporating union and this was secured by a majority of 116 votes to 83 on 4 November 1706. In order to minimise the opposition of the Church of Scotland, an act was also passed to secure the Presbyterian establishment of the Church, after which the Church stopped its open opposition, although hostility remained at lower levels of the clergy. The treaty as a whole was finally ratified on 16 January 1707 by a majority of 110 votes to 69.

The ultimate securing of the treaty in the Scottish Parliament can be attributed more to the weakness and lack of cohesion between the various opposition groups in the House as opposed to the strength of pro-incorporationists[citation needed]. The combined votes of the Court party with a majority of the Squadrone Volante were sufficient to ensure the final passage of the treaty through the House. Many members had invested heavily in the Darién Scheme and they believed that they would receive compensation for their losses; Article 14, the Equivalent granted GBP398,085 10s to Scotland to offset future liability towards the English national debt. In essence, it was also used as a means of compensation for investors in Darién.

Financial persuasion were also prevalent. £20,000 (£240,000 Scots) was dispatched to Scotland for distribution by the Earl of Glasgow. James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry, the Queen's Commissioner in Parliament, received £12,325, the majority of the funding. Some of this was used to hire spies, such as Daniel Defoe; his first reports were of vivid descriptions of violent demonstrations against the Union. "A Scots rabble is the worst of its kind," he reported, "for every Scot in favour there is 99 against". Years later John Clerk of Penicuik, a leading Unionist, wrote in his memoirs that,

"(Defoe) was a spy among us, but not known as such, otherwise the Mob of Edinburgh would pull him to pieces".
Defoe recalls that he was hired by Robert Harley.

The Acts of Union were far from universally popular in Scotland, particularly amongst the general population. Many petitions were sent to the Scottish Parliament against union, and there were massive protests in Edinburgh and several other Scottish towns on the day it was passed [citation needed], as threats of widespread civil unrest resulted in the imposition of martial law by the Parliament. Sir George Lockhart of Carnwath, a Jacobite and the only member of the Scottish negotiating team who was not pro-incorporation, noted that `The whole nation appears against the Union'. Sir John Clerk of Penicuik, an ardent pro-unionist and Union negotiator, observed that the treaty was `contrary to the inclinations of at least three-fourths of the Kingdom'. Public opinion against the Treaty as it passed through the Scottish Parliament was voiced through petitions from Scottish localities. Anti-union petitions were received from shires, burghs, presbyteries and parishes. The Convention of Royal Burghs also petitioned against the Union and not one petition in favour of an incorporating union was received by Parliament. On the day the treaty was signed, the carilloner in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, rang the bells in the tune "Why should I be so sad on my wedding day?"

The two Acts incorporated provisions for Scotland to send representative peers from the Peerage of Scotland to sit in the House of Lords. It guaranteed that the Church of Scotland would remain the established church in Scotland, that the Court of Session would "remain in all time coming within Scotland", and that Scots law would "remain in the same force as before". Other provisions included the restatement of the Act of Settlement 1701 and the ban on Roman Catholics from taking the throne. It also created a customs union and monetary union.

The Act provided that any "laws and statutes" that were "contrary to or inconsistent with the terms" of the Act would "cease and become void."


Short term problems and long term benefits
For the very simple reason that the two parliaments had evolved along different lines, contradictions and teething troubles were frequent. For example, the English doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty in all aspects of national life did not exist in Scotland, and the Scottish parliament was unicameral, not bicameral. Most of the pre-Union traditions of Westminster continued, while those of Scotland were forgotten or ignored.

Defoe drew upon his Scottish experience to write his Tour thro' the whole Island of Great Britain, published in 1726, where he actually admitted that the increase of trade and population in Scotland, which he had predicted as a consequence of the Union, was "not the case, but rather the contrary", and that the hostility towards his party was, "because they were English and because of the Union, which they were almost universally exclaimed against".

Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, a vehement critic of the Union, said in An Account of a Conversation, that Scotland suffered "...the miserable and languishing condition of all places that depend upon a remote seat of government."

During the Scottish Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, Scotland was transformed from a poor country into one of the commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouses of Europe. However, there is little evidence that this was a direct consequence of union with England.


A new Scottish Parliament
In 1999, after almost three centuries, a Scottish Parliament was opened after a referendum in Scotland. The new parliament does not have the same powers as the old parliament, as Scotland remains a constituent member country of the United Kingdom.


300th anniversary
A commemorative two-pound coin will be issued to mark the 300th anniversary of the Union, which occurs 2 days before the Scottish Parliament's election.

The Scottish Executive have announced plans for a year-long commemoration including an education project led by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, an exhibition of Union-related objects and documents at the National Museums of Scotland and an exhibition of portraits of people associated with the Union at the National Galleries of Scotland

Also most schools are taking part in scotland week and Learning about there Own History

Edited by cheyenne 09, 18 January 2007 - 08:22 AM.

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#27
cheyenne 09

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Scottish Celebration Tonight ( Burns' Night )




Robert Burns is Scotland's most well-known and best loved poet: even south of the Border, most people can quote the odd line of Burns' poetry : "Wee sleekit, cowrin' tim'rous beastie......" (that's as far as I can get on that one) and of course there's "Auld lang Syne," which everybody thinks they know and nobody actually does.

He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire in south-west Scotland, on January 25th 1759, and Burns' Night is celebrated on or around his birthday. For the details of his life and works there are many websites already on-line, so I am not about to go reinventing the wheel : click here for an excellent starting point.

BURNS NIGHT TRADITIONS

A Burns' Night supper must always begin with Burns' own Selkirk Grace : "Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it; But we hae meat and we can eat, And sae the Lord be thankit." The menu usually consists of [bleep]-a-leekie soup (or Scotch Broth) and haggis with "tatties and neeps" (also known as clapshot - don't ask me why!), Tipsy Laird (sherry trifle to you and me) followed by oatcakes and cheese, all washed down with liberal tots of good Scotch whisky! The haggis is "piped" in - brought in ceremoniously by the chef accompanied by a piper - and "addressed" with Burns' own Address to a Haggis poem before being cut and served. Traditional speeches and toasts punctuate the meal (...more Scotch...) and Burns' Night suppers range from the formal to the frankly uproarious excuse for yet more partying, but they all follow the same basic format.




TRADITIONAL SCOTTISH RECIPES


[bleep]-A-LEEKIE SOUP
1 x 1-1.5 Kg (2-3lb) chicken
1 onion, cut into quarters
400-800g (1-2lb) leeks, cut into inch long (2-3cm) pieces,
white and green parts to be kept separate
Chicken stock from boiling the chicken
1 bay leafand a bunch of parsley
6-12 prunes, soaked overnight
salt and pepper

Method
Put the chicken in a large pot and nearly cover with water, add the herbs and salt and slowly bring to the boil. Skim, cover and simmer until tender, for approximately 2 hours. Remove the bird, and allow to cool slightly. Meanwhile add the green part of the leeks to the stock and add the prunes (cut ito quarters) and continue to simmer. Cut the meat from the chicken into smallish pieces and return them to the soup, with the white part of the leeks. Simmer for a further 10 minutes. Check the seasoning and serve.
[bleep]-a-Leekie Soup is better the next day, so if you have time, try and prepare it in advance and reheat it when needed.


TATTIES-AN-NEEPS (CLAPSHOT)
400-800g (1-2 lb potatoes), peeled and cubed
An equal amount of peeled and cubed swede (turnip)
salt and pepper
butter
dripping

Method
Boil the potatoes and swede separately until they are soft but not mushy (test with a fork) and drain them well. Mash together with a knob of butter and salt and pepper to taste.
Heat some beef dripping in a frying pan until hot - a haze will begin to appear above the pan: DON'T let it burn. Fry the "bashed tatties and neeps" until browned on the bottom; turn it by tipping carefully onto a plate and sliding back into the pan to brown the other side.
You may prefer to form the mixture into small flattened cakes or patties and frying these, turning them with a fish-slice when done on one side.

Serve with the haggis and a rich gravy.


TIPSY LAIRD
1 Victoria sponge cake, sliced
300g (3/4lb) raspberry jam
2 tablespoons of brandy or Drambuie 1 wine glass of sherry
egg custard (see below)
300g (3/4lb) raspberries
1 tablespoon caster sugar
250 ml (1/2 pint) double cream
Toasted almonds to decorate

To make the custard:
250 ml (1/2 pint) full-cream milk
150 ml (1/3 pint) double cream
2 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
a few drops of vanilla essence

Method
Place the sponge in the base of a large glass bowl and spread with the raspberry jam. Mix the sherry and the brandy and sprinkle evenly over the sponge, allowing it time to soak in. Next add a layer of raspberries.
To make the custard, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla essence until it is pale and creamy. Heat the milk and cream together in a saucepan until it just reaches boiling point then stir carefully into the egg mixture. Once it is well blended, return to the pan and stir continuously over a low heat until the custard thickens. Pour into a dish and allow it to cool. When it is quite cool, pour the custard over the layer of fruit, spreading evenly. Next whip the double cream, add sugar to sweeten and spoon on top of the (set) custard. Decorate with toasted almonds.



Burns Poem
To A Mouse.

Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering pattle.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
An' fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't.

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld.

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!


Address To A Haggis

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn,
they stretch an' strive:
Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve,
Are bent lyke drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
"Bethankit!" 'hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him ower his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread.
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,
Gie her a haggis!



For Anyone Celebrating Tonight have a Great Time
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#28
cheyenne 09

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Wee Scottish Fact's

Border Between Scotland and England

The border between Scotland and England stretches for 108 miles (174 kilometres) between the Solway Firth along the Cheviot Hills and the river Tweed, to the North Sea.

Hadrian's Wall, built by the Romans, ran further south than this, from Carlisle on the river Eden to the river Tyne in the east.

The town of Berwick on Tweed, at the mouth of the Tweed, changed hands between Scotland and England 13 times between 1147 and 1482 before finally becoming part of England.

Despite being in England, the football (soccer) team in Berwick (Berwick Rangers) plays in the Scottish League, the only English team to do so.



Wee Scottish Fact's

Encyclopaedia Britannica


The first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica was edited by William Smellie (pronounced Smiley) and the first instalment (of the three volume work) was printed in Anchor Close, Edinburgh in 1768.

The second edition was edited by James Tyler, who wrote much of it himself and expanded it to ten volumes.

A number of editions were published in Edinburgh over the next 100 years as the work expanded to 21 volumes.

The rights to the encyclopaedia were bought by an American company early in the 20th century and it has been published in the USA since 1921.


Scottish Lochs

Lochs
In Scotland, the word "loch" is used to describe any large, enclosed expanse of water (such as Loch Katrine, illustrated above), including areas coming in from the sea (equivalent to the Norwegian "fjiords"). The word comes from Gaelic (as does "lochan" meaning a small lake or pool).

The "ch" sound in Scots is often mis-pronounced as a "k" but the sound is equivalent to the German "ch" as in "achtung".

Most people in Scotland will tell you that the only expanse of water in Scotland called a "lake" is the Lake of Menteith in Stirlingshire (illustrtated here). The name may have arisen from an early clerical error - it should have been "lairg" meaning "plain". But although the Lake of Menteith is the only natural area of water in Scotland called "lake", there are a couple of man-made "lakes" - Pressmennan Lake at Stenton in East Lothian and Cally Lake at Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway.


Largest Lochs (By Area)

Loch Lomond - 27.5 square miles (71.1 square km)
Loch Ness - 21.8 square miles (56.4 square km)
Loch Awe/Etive - 14.9 square miles (38.5 square km)
Loch Maree - 11.0 square miles (28.6 square km)
Loch Morar - 10.3 square miles (26.7 square km)
Loch Tay - 10.2 square miles (26.4 square km)
Loch Shin - 8.7 square miles (22.5 square km)
Because of its depth, Loch Ness is the largest loch by volume of water.

Longest and Deepest

Deepest Loch - Loch Morar, Lochaber (1077ft/328m deep)
Longest inland loch - Loch Awe, Argyll (25 miles/41km long)
Longest sea loch - Loch Fyne, Argyll (approx 44 miles/71km long)
Caledonian Canal
This is the longest canal in Scotland and connects Corpach (near Fort William) to Clachnacarry (near Inverness), a distance of 60 miles (96.5km). But two thirds of its length is made up of Lochs Dochfour, Ness, Oich and Lochy.



Scotland's Disgrace ( Edinburgh's Shame ) The National Monument


Variously called "Scotland's Disgrace" or "Scotland's Pride and Poverty" or "Edinburgh's Shame" the National Monument on Calton Hill in Edinburgh was supposed to have been a memorial to the Scots who died in the Napoleonic Wars.

The idea was to create a copy of the Parthenon in Athens (Edinburgh is sometimes called the "Athens of the North").

Sir Walter Scott, Sir Henry Cockburn and others launched a subscription to pay the estimated cost of 42,000 pounds.

The foundation stone was laid on 27 October 1822 but three years later work stopped as less than half the cost had been subscribed.

The twelve Doric columns on their base still remain.

Somewhat more successful was the Nelson Monument which was dedicated in 1807, two years after the Battle of Trafalgar. The 108 foot tower was designed by Robert Burn to resemble an inverted telescope and houses a museum to Nelson.

A large, zinc-plated wooden ball is suspended from cross-trees on the Nelson Monument. It was raised each day to the top of the monument and released at exactly 1.0pm so that the ships in Leith harbour could reset their chronometers. There was an electrical cable connection with the "One O'clock Gun" fired on the battlements of Edinburgh Castle, 4,000 feet away.
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cheyenne 09

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Wee Scottish Fact's

Stone of Destiny - The Coronation Stone


Replica of the Stone of Destiny in front of the Chapel on Moot Hill



Legend says that the Stone of Destiny was used as a pillow by Jacob in biblical times. It was believed to have been brought to Scotland in the 9th century. (Other experts suggest it was quarried in the Oban area).

It was used as part of the crowning ceremonies of the kings of Dalriada, in the west of Scotland (now Argyll).

When Kenneth I, the 36th King of Dalriada moved his capital to Scone from western Scotland around 840AD, the Stone of Destiny was moved there too. Coronations of Scottish kings took place at Moot Hill at Scone Palace. There is now only a replica of the stone there.

John Balliol was the last Scottish king to be crowned on the stone at Scone in 1292.

The Stone was taken from Scone by King Edward I of England in 1296 and remained under the Coronation Throne at Westminster Abbey in London for 700 years. However, there have always been theories that the Scots did not hand over the real stone!


On December 25, 1950 a group of Scottish Nationalists removed the Stone and brought it back to Scotland where it remained for four months before it was returned. Or was it? There have been suggestions that a copy was returned, compounding the earlier stories about substitution.

The stone finally came back to Scotland on St Andrew's Day, 30 November 1996, and is housed beside the other Honours of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle. Historic Scotland examined the stone on its arrival and pronounced that it was "probably" the original stone from Dalriada.

In the event of a future coronation of a British monarch, the Stone of Destiny is to be temporarily replaced under the Coronation Throne at Westminster Abbey.
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cheyenne 09

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Famous Scot's

ROBBIE COLTRANE

Robbie Coltrane, OBE (Born Anthony Robert McMillan on March 30, 1950) In Rutherglen near Glasgow

Cracker returns in the Autumn
October as criminal psychologist Dr Eddie 'Fitz' Fitzgerald, in a two-hour television movie special.

Robbie is best known for his roles as Hagrid in the Harry Potter films, Fitz in Cracker, for the Eighties television series Tutti Frutti and as Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in Bond films Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough.


Sean Connery

Sir Thomas Sean Connery ( Born August 25, 1930 in Edinburgh

Connery is known for his Trademark Scottish Accent

He is an Oscar-winning Scottish actor and producer who is best known as the first actor to portray James Bond on film. His character's catchphrase 'Bond, James Bond', has become particularly famous. He starred in six official Bond films between 1962 and 1971, plus an unofficial remake in 1983.

Best Known For Playing 007 in 6 of Ian Fleming's Bond Movies

Dr. No (1962)
Goldfinger (1964)
From Russia With Love (1964)
Thunderball (1965)
You Only Live Twice (1967)
Diamonds are Forever (1971)

The 90's brought such great films as The Hunt for Red October (1990 as a Russian sub commander) and 1993's Rising Sun (as an expert in all things Japanese) Dragonheart (1996) and the successful contemporary action dramas Just Cause (1995) and The Rock (1996). In 1999, Connery starred in and produced (Fountainbridge Films) Entrapment, a love story-thriller, costarring Catherine Zeta-Jones. The year 2000 brought what many have said to be one of his best films, Finding Forrester. Sean's latest movie "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" was released in 2003.


Billy Connolly

William "Billy" Connolly, CBE ( Born 24 November 1942) is a Scottish comedian, musician, presenter, and actor. He is sometimes known, Especially in his Native Scotland, by the nickname The Big Yin (The Big One), a reference to his height Especially Funny Live


This Scottish comedian had difficulty cracking the American TV market, but surprised pundits worldwide by proving he had more acting mettle than previously expected when he scored a success as the guardsman who becomes Queen Victoria's special friend in "Mrs. Brown" (1997). Tall, gray-haired and generally bearded, Billy Connolly has been a well-known personality in the UK since the 1970s, primarily for his bawdy comedic routines

Connolly continued to work steadily thereafter, turning in fine performances in many films, perhaps most notably The Impostors In 2002 he appeared in another highly visible role White Oleander to be followed by even more mainstream exposure in 2003's Timeline and The Last Samurai (2003). After popping up as himself in "Overnight (2004), a documentary depicting the rags-to-riches-to-rags story of screenwriter Troy Duffy Connolly appeared as Uncle Monty in Lemony Snipet's A Series of Unfortunate Events the Jim Carrey vehicle adapted from the popular series of children's books.



David Niven (1909 - 1983)

Kirriemuir-born actor. Appeared in many film roles and was paradoxically regarded by many americans as the archetypal englishman!

Andy Stewart (1933 - 1994)

Comedian and Singer. Perhaps best known for his Scottish TV show "The White Heather Club" which began in 1960 and his song "Ye canna shove yer granny off a bus".

Edited by cheyenne 09, 19 February 2007 - 02:01 PM.

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