Scottish Customs and Traditions

The Great Highland Bagpipe (Scottish Gaelic <>: a phìob mhòr; often abbreviated GHB in English) is a type of bagpipe

Scottish Customs and Traditions


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ain, conventionally positioned in front of the groin <> of the wearer.the traditional kilt does not have pockets, the sporran serves as a wallet <> and container for any other necessary personal items. It is essentially a survival of the common European medieval belt-pouch, superseded elsewhere as clothing came to have pockets, but continuing in the Scottish Highlands because of the lack of these accessories in traditional dress.sporran hangs below the belt buckle <>; and much effort is made to match their style and design. The kilt belt buckle can be very ornate, and contain similar motifs <> to the sporran cantle <> and the Sgian Dubh <>. Early sporrans may have been worn suspended from the belt, rather than hung from a separate strap in front of the wearer.driving a car, dancing, playing drums, or engaging in any activity where a heavy pouch might encumber the wearer, the sporran can be turned around the waist to let it hang on the hip <> in a more casual position. types

"Day Sporrans" are usually brown leather pouches with simple adornment. These "day" sporrans often have three or more leather tassels and frequently Celtic knot <> designs carved or embossed into the leather.

"Dress Sporrans" can be larger than the day variety, and are often highly ornate. Victorian examples were usually quite ostentatious, and much more elaborate than the simple leather pouch of the 17th or 18th centuries. They can have sterling or silver-plated cantles <> trimming the top of the pouch and a fur-covered face with fur or hair tassels. The cantle may contain intricate filigree <> or etchings of Celtic knots. The top of the cantle may have a set stone, jewel, or emblems such as Saint Andrew <>, a thistle <>, Clan <>, or Masonic <> symbols.

"Animal Mask Sporrans" are made from the pelts of mammals such as the badger, otter, fox, pine marten, or other small animals, with the head forming a flap that folds over the front and closes the opening at the top of the sporran.

"Horsehair Sporrans" are most often worn as a part of regimental attire. Pipers <> will often wear the most flamboyant sporrans with long horsehair that swishes from side to side as the piper marches.misconceptions about the sporran:keeps the front flap of the kilt down during dancing, running etc.front of the kilt is in fact a double flap coming from left and right. The sporran itself is more likely to fly around during energetic movement due to its looser attachment and greater inertia. However the sporran does weigh the flap down when sitting legs apart, although the kilt is designed to do this naturally without additional a form of armour for the groinstudded 'apron' on the Roman <> Balteus (sword belt) <> is sometimes referred to as a 'sporran' or 'groin guard', and this has led to confusion with the Scottish sporran-ironically, as the Roman 'groin guard' was solely decorative. sporrans are made of animal skin, their production, ownership and transportation across borders can be regulated by legislation set to control the trade of protected and endangered species. A 2007 BBC report on legislation introduced by the Scottish Executive stated that sporran owners may need licences to prove that the animals used in construction of their pouch conformed to these regulations. several of the species listed in the BBC article are not covered by the Habitats Directives of the legislation, and of the over 100 different animals listed by the legislation only a few, such as Otter, have ever been associated with sporran construction. Most common sporran skins are not controlled or regulated animals in regards to this legislation.


The sgian-dubh is a small, singled-edged knife <> (Gaelic sgian) worn as part of traditional Scottish <> Highland dress <> along with the kilt <>. It is worn tucked into the top of the kilt hose with only the upper portion of the hilt <> visible. The sgian-dubh is normally worn on the right leg, but can also be worn on the left, depending on whether the wearer is right or left-handed.


The Balmoral (more fully the Balmoral bonnet <> in Scottish English <> or Balmoral cap <> otherwise, and formerly called the Kilmarnock bonnet) is a traditional Scottish <> hat that can be worn as part of formal or informal Highland dress <>. Dating back to at least the 16th century, it takes the form of a knitted <>, soft wool <> cap with a flat crown. It is named after Balmoral Castle <>, a royal residence in Scotland. It is an alternative to the similar and related (informal) Tam o' Shanter <> cap and the (formal or informal) Glengarry <> bonnet.

Originally with a voluminous crown, today the bonnet is smaller, made of finer cloth and tends to be dark blue, black or lovat green. Ribbons in, or attached to the back of, the band (originally used to secure the bonnet tightly) are sometimes worn hanging from the back of the cap. A regimental or clan badge is worn on the left-hand side, affixed to a silk <> or grosgrain <> ribbon cockade <> (usually black, white or red), with the bonnet usually worn tilted to the right to display this emblem. The centre of the crown features a toorie <>, traditionally red. Some versions have a diced band (usually red and white check) around the circumference of the lower edge.worn by Scottish Highland regiments the "blue bonnet" Tam o' Shanter gradually developed into a stiffened felt cylinder, often decorated with an ostrich plume hackle <> sweeping over the crown from left to right (as well as flashes of bearskin or painted turkey hackles). In the 19th century this tall cap evolved into the extravagant full dress feather bonnet <> while, as an undress cap, the plainer form continued in use until the mid-19th century. By then known as the Kilmarnock bonnet, it was officially replaced by the Glengarry <> bonnet, which had been in use unofficially since the late eighteenth century and was essentially a folding version of the cylindrical military "Balmoral" as applied to this traditional headdress appears to date from the late 19th century and in 1903 a blue bonnet in traditional style but with a stiffened crown was adopted briefly by some Lowland regiments as full dress headgear. After the Second World War, while all other Scottish regiments chose the Glengarry, a soft blue Balmoral was adopted as full dress headgear by the Black Watch <> (Royal Highland Regiment) and was worn with the green no. 1 dress jacket and with khaki no. 2 or service dress. As part of the amalgamation of the Scottish regiments in 2006, the military Balmoral was done away with and all battalions of the Royal Regiment of Scotland now wear the Glengarry.of the Balmoral has been championed by songwriter Richard Thompson <>, who uses it on stage, in addition to its traditional place in Highland dress.

scottish weddings kilt sporran

The Great Highland Bagpipe


The Great Highland Bagpipe (Scottish Gaelic <>: a' phìob mhòr; often abbreviated GHB in English) is a type of bagpipe <> native to Scotland <>. It has achieved widespread recognition through its usage in the British military <> and in pipe bands <> throughout the world. It is closely related to the Great Irish Warpipes <>.bagpipe is first attested in Scotland around 1400 AD, having previously appeared in European artwork in Spain in the 13th century. The earliest references to bagpipes in Scotland are in a military context, and it is in that context that the Great Highland Bagpipe became established in the British military and achieved the widespread prominence it enjoys today, whereas other bagpipe traditions throughout Europe, ranging from Portugal to Russia,

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