The "Balmoral" bonnet and the "Glengarry" bonnet are equally correct. Tartan balmorals, like tartan bow ties, should never be worn with a kilt. The Balmoral is a very ancient headgear. It is the old broad bonnet common to Highlands and Lowlands for many centuries. It may be black, blue, or fawn, with or without diced band, and may have loose flowing ribbons behind, or a knotted bow. The Glengarry is generally dark blue or black, and may or may not have a diced band. It is invariably worn with loose flowing ribbons, and many people prefer it because of its jaunty appearance.
Do not wear a balmoral bonnet with the ribbons trailing behind. The ribbons of any bonnet should be at the centre of the back. Also, do not wear eagle feathers in your bonnet. The use of feathers is strictly limited to those whose right to wear them has been established by the Lord Lyon of Scotland.
CABER (Pronounced Kay-Bur)
The 16 to 20 foot pole weighing between 80 and 100 pounds flipped end over end in the Caber Toss Athletic Event.
CEILIDH (Pronounced KAY-LEE)
The Ceilidh was the centre of the social life of the old Highland community. The word translates from the Gaelic "visitor or social gathering". In some parts of the Hebrides, the old type of Ceilidh was still being held until the beginning of this century. The Highlanders would gather at a favoured cottage, usually one of the more well-to-do residents or the local landlord. There played the fiddle, some singing, dancing, food and drink, and the telling of tales. Most modern Ceilidhs are little more than concerts with a Scottish flavour, but the traditional form is fast returning.
CELTIC (Pronounced Kell-tick)
An adjective referring to the early tribes that had at one time dominated Europe. Celtic tribes had even sacked Rome. Now, the Celtic tribes are reduced to Scotland, Wales, Northern England, and Ireland. e.g. Celtic Art, Celtic language.
That part of the bagpipe which the player holds with his hands to play the melody of the tune.
The word originally meant, in Gaelic, offspring or descendants, family or tribe. Originally a family unit, the clan became the basic political, economic, and social unit of the Scottish highlands until the political oppression of 1745. Each clan has its own tartan which was worn in a kilt or scarf. They were fiercely loyal to the family group and are quick to avenge any wrongs done to their fellows, as well as defending the area they considered home territory.
The reason for the strength of the Scottish clans can be summarized in a quote from a contemporary clansman who said "I owe allegiance to the land of my birth, but I am first, last, and always a MacDonald."
The true Claymore was as tall as a man. It was massive but beautifully balanced, two-handed sword. Many of these weapons were cut down and rehilted as basket-hilt broadswords in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. True Claymores are very rare.
The Dirk is a long knife, and its sheath sometimes houses a smaller knife and a fork. The origin of this arrangement was that the long knife was the conventional hunting knife, and the smaller utensils were for eating. Today, the scabbard and handles are black with silver ornimentation.
One of the three "tubes" sticking out of a set of bagpipes. These provide the continuous tone unique to pipe music.
The marching leader of a pipe band. The drum major marches in front of the band and carries the mace.
Haggis is typically served on Burns Night, January 25, when Scotland celebrates the birth of their greatest poet, Robert Burns, who was born in Ayrshire on that date in 1759. During the celebration, Burns poems are read, and the haggis is addressed by a member of the party, ceremonially, in the form of verses from Burns' poem, 'Ode to a Haggis.' A typical meal for Burns Night would include Cock-a-L, Haggis with Tattie-an'-neeps (and before you ask, that's potatoes and turnips), Roastit Beef, Tipsy Laird, and Dunlop Cheese."
1 sheep's pluck (stomach bag)
2 lbs. dry oatmeal
1 lb. suet
1 lb. lamb's liver
2 1/2 cups stock
1 large chopped onion
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, Jamaica pepper and salt
Boil liver and parboil the onion, then mince them together. Lightly brown the oatmeal. Mix all ingredients together. Fill the sheep's pluck with the mixture pressing it down to remove all the air, and sew up securely. Prick the haggis in several places so that it does not burst. Place haggis in boiling water and boil slowly for 4-5 hours. Serves approximately 12.
That portion of Scotland which lies north of a line roughly between Glasgow and Edinburgh.
"A man in a kilt is a man and a half." It is the traditional clothing of Scotland. The present kilt contains about eight yards of material. This garment is the modern remnant of the great plaid, Originally a large blanket pleated round the waist; held by a large, broad belt. The excess free cloth was gathered and pinned to the shirt or coat with a brooch on the left shoulder. This great plaid was eminently fitted to the weather and occupations of the Scottish Highlands. It is NOT an outfit for the gentleman on horseback. Consequently, it was more the dress of the average man in the Highlands rather than the gentry. The kilt has been worn with everything from body armour to the long fancy coats of the Georgian period.
DO NOT WEAR YOUR KILT TOO LONG. The middle of the knee-cap is the longest acceptable level and up to an inch shorter is okay. Also, do not pin a kilt pin through both aprons of your kilt. It will spoil the hang of the kilt and be a bother getting it off and on. Do not mix daywear and evening wear. Tartan hose, jewelled dirk, miniature medals and evening plaid are just some of the accoutrements not suitable for daytime wear. They may look dressy, but they make you look stupid to a true Scot who knows how to wear the tartan.
The musical leader and usually the principal instructor of a pipe band.
- Any woven checked pattern. Not the same as Tartan.
- The shawl-like garment worn over the shoulder by some in highland dress. Originally part of the kilt.
The patron saint of Scotland. The first disciple of Christ, his bones are reported to rest in St. Andrew, Scotland.
A whiskey distilled in Scotland. Sometimes called the "Water of Life".
An adjective describing things pertaining to Scotland, e.g. Scottish descent, Scottish heritage.
A family not having the name of the clan, but associated with the clan and entitled to wear its tartan, e.g. Gillespie is a sept of Clan MacPherson.
SGAIN DUBH (Pronounced Skeen Due)
The Sgain Dubh or black knife, is a small knife worn on the right leg, tucked between the stocking and the leg. It is held in place by the garter band, with its handle protruding above the stocking top. Some are bone handled, some black with a cairngorm set in a silver mounting. Originally the Sgain Dubh was hidden somewhere on the highlander's body, it became tradition to wear it in the sock to show friendliness -- I.E. you are showing others where your knife is, so are not hostile. Tradition also states that the Sgain Dubh is worn in the sock so that even when kneeling a Scot is dangerous.
The pouch worn in the front of the kilt, which serves as a pocket. The sporran is worn about a hand's breadth below your belt.
The Tartan describes the distinctive checkered pattern generally worked out in a woven material such as woolen cloth. Each particular pattern is known as a "sett". Such tartan material is a characteristically Scottish product. Historically in each district the local weavers produced a distinctive tartan pattern or sett. Thus members of the same clan probably wore the particular tartan woven and dyed in their neibourhood. The distinctive sett adopted by the chief and his relatives became traditionally the "Clan Tartan." When the statutory ban of Highland Dress was removed in 1702, the wearing of the clan tartan was a matter of pride.
There are over 2,200 recognized, different, authentic tartans, and the Scots who wear tartan are without exception friendly and proud of their heritage, and will gladly explain what tartan they are wearing and why. You need only ask.
Thursday, December 26th, 2019
visitors: Tartans.com is back. Please note that this is a snapshot of the site as it existed nearly 20 years ago and you may encounter broken links; we are still combing through the site and correcting those as we find them. Please also note that some sections are currently not functional, primarily the discussion forums/clan chat boards.