Since I have been listening to The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon on CDs while I am quilting, it seems only fitting that I attend a Scottish Festival of sorts. I am up to the 4th book in the series, “Drums of Autumn” and loving every minute of her books. Jamie Fraser was in the Battle of Culloden in one of the books, and I heard a bit about Culloden today. It sounds like Culloden really was the turning point in Highland history as far as when the Scots were “ethnically cleansed” by the English. They were made to swear loyalty to England, give up their kilts and way of dress, were forbidden to speak Gaelic, etc. Kind of makes me sad, so it was an honor today to get to see some of the Scottish culture and heritage that was taken from them.
We saw lots of men in kilts at the Scottish Highland Games & Celtic Festival today. Actually, there were women in kilts as well and lots of plaid! When asked what they wore under their kilts, one answer was shoes and socks.
The first group we ran up on were a few bagpipers…
This next picture of me is on our way to the Heritage & Culture tent where we were greeted by many “clans” of ticks. Truly! We were listening to a man talk about the history of kilts, how they are folded and worn, etc. and we must have had 10 or more ticks jump on us. They were jumping, and not in a good way!
The bagpipe & drums band was really good.
They looked so regal marching past us.
My husband’s clan is Clan Donald or Clan McDonald, depending on which day it is. ;o) When the Clans marched past, his clan had 5 representatives.
They also had the biggest tent along Clan Row. The Donalds and McDonalds, along with the McDonnell’s are in an area (Isle of Skye) near where Clan Stewart lived in the times before the Battle of Culloden. The McDonalds and other clans fought for Charles Stewart, protecting Scotland for Charles to be their future king. It didn’t work. The Scots were slaughtered and made to deny their heritage and claim loyalty to the English. From what I understand, the clan of my father is the Sutherland Clan. You’d think Sutherland would stand for southern land, but no. They are in the northern area. Go figure!
The highlight and most memorable part of the day was when we decided to get something to eat. Haggis is well known as a Scottish food. Have any of you tried it? We never have, so I told my husband that if he would try it, I would. He said he didn’t like it. He’s never tried it, though, so my question for him was how he knew he didn’t like it if he had never even tried it. So, there we were, standing in line…
The menu said it had sheep heart and liver in it, but doesn’t it look like a mixture of hamburger and CAKE?
Then we tried it. First my husband, and then me.
Oh God! Oh. God. Words can’t describe the taste – it’s just a weird taste that needs time in order to be an acquired taste.
My husband’s eye looks like it’s going to tear after trying it. I wanted to rub my tongue on asphalt after trying it! All I know is that I wanted a big pickle and some beer (and I’m not a beer drinker) afterwards to bury the taste. My mouth still draws up just thinking about it. You’ve seen those videos of babies being fed something they don’t like, haven’t you? That’s the look. When someone dares you to try it, you can stomach it, but make sure you have something to kill the taste afterwards, and not just a can of pop! That didn’t work for me!
Anyhow, I’m glad I got the opportunity for today’s cultural experience, and I’m glad that I got to try Haggis. We are all different, and you have to appreciate someone having the courage to eat haggis on a regular basis.