The culture of Scotland refers to the patterns of human activity and symbolism associated with Scotland and the Scottish people. Some elements of Scottish culture, such as its separate national church, are protected in law, as agreed in the Treaty of Union and other instruments. The Scottish flag is blue with a white saltire, and represents the cross of Saint Andrew.
Scotland retains Scots Law, its own unique legal system, based on Roman law, which combines features of both civil law and common law. The terms of union with England specified the retention of separate systems. The barristers are called advocates, and the judges of the high court for civil cases are also the judges for the high court for criminal cases. Scots Law differs from England's common law system. Formerly, there were several regional law systems in Scotland, one of which was Udal Law (also called allodail or odal law) in Shetland and Orkney. This was a direct descendant of Old Norse Law, but was abolished in 1611 . Despite this, Scottish courts have acknowledged the supremacy of udal law in some property cases as recently as the 1990s. There is a movement to restore udal law  to the islands as part of a devolution of power from Edinburgh to Shetland and Orkney. Various systems based on common Celtic Law also survived in the Highlands until the 1800s.
Banking in Scotland also features unique characteristics. Although the Bank of England remains the central bank for the UK Government, three Scottish corporate banks still issue their own banknotes: the Bank of Scotland, the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Clydesdale Bank.
Scotland competes in sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup. Scotland does not compete in the Olympic Games independently however, and in athletics, Scotland has competed for the Celtic Cup, against teams from Wales and Ireland, since the inaugural event in 2006.
Scotland is the "Home of Golf", and is well known for its courses. As well as its world-famous Highland Games (athletic competitions), it is also the home of curling, and shinty, a stick game similar to Ireland's hurling. Scotland has 4 professional ice hockey teams that compete in the Elite Ice Hockey League. Scottish cricket is a minority game.
The earliest extant literature written in what is now Scotland, was composed in Brythonic speech in the sixth century and has survived as part of Welsh literature. In the following centuries there was literature in Latin, under the influence of the Catholic Church, and in Old English, brought by Anglian settlers. As the state of Alba developed into the kingdom of Scotland from the eighth century, there was a flourishing literary elite who regularly produced texts in both Gaelic and Latin, sharing a common literary culture with Ireland and elsewhere. After the Davidian Revolution of the thirteenth century a flourishing French language culture predominated, while Norse literature was produced from areas of Scandinavian settlement. The first surviving major text in Early Scots literature is the fourteenth-century poet John Barbour's epic Brus, which was followed by a series of vernacular versions of medieval romances. These were joined in the fifteenth century by Scots prose works.
In the early modern era royal patronage supported poetry, prose and drama. James V's court saw works such as Sir David Lindsay of the Mount's The Thrie Estaitis. In the late sixteenth century James VI became patron and member of a circle of Scottish court poets and musicians known as the Castalian Band. When he acceded to the English throne in 1603 many followed him to the new court, but without a centre of royal patronage the tradition of Scots poetry subsided. It was revived after union with England in 1707 by figures including Allan Ramsay, Robert Fergusson and James Macpherson. The latter's Ossian Cycle made him the first Scottish poet to gain an international reputation. He helped inspire Robert Burns, considered by many to be the national poet, and Walter Scott, whose Waverley Novels did much to define Scottish identity in the 19th century. Towards the end of the Victorian era a number of Scottish-born authors achieved international reputations, including Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, J. M. Barrie and George MacDonald.
In the 20th century there was a surge of activity in Scottish literature, known as the Scottish Renaissance. The leading figure, Hugh MacDiarmid, attempted to revive the Scots language as a medium for serious literature. Members of the movement were followed by a new generation of post-war poets including Edwin Morgan, who would be appointed the first Scots Makar by the inaugural Scottish government in 2004. From the 1980s Scottish literature enjoyed another major revival, particularly associated with writers including James Kelman and Irvine Welsh. Scottish poets who emerged in the same period included Carol Ann Duffy, who was named as the first Scot to be UK Poet Laureate in May 2009.
The earliest examples of art from what is now Scotland are highly decorated carved stone balls from the Neolithic period. From the Bronze Age there are examples of carvings, including the first representations of objects, and cup and ring marks. From the Iron Age there are more extensive examples of patterned objects and gold work. From the early Middle Ages there are elaborately carved Pictish stones and impressive metalwork. The development of a common style of Insular art across Great Britain and Ireland influenced elaborate jewellery and illuminated manuscripts like the Book of Kells. Only isolated examples survive of native artwork from the late Middle Ages and of works created or strongly influenced by artists of Flemish origin. The influence of the Renaissance can be seen in stone carving and painting from the fifteenth century. In the sixteenth century the crown began to employ Flemish court painters who have left a portrait record of royalty. The Reformation removed a major source of patronage for art, limited the level of public display, but may have helped in the growth of secular domestic forms, particularly elaborate painting of roofs and walls. In the seventeenth century there were the first significant native artists for whom names are extant, with figures like George Jamesone and John Michael Wright, but the loss of the court as a result of the Union of Crowns in 1603 removed another major source of patronage.
In the eighteenth century Scotland began to produce artists that were significant internationally, all influenced by neoclassicism, such as Allan Ramsay, Gavin Hamilton, the brothers John and Alexander Runciman, Jacob More and David Allan. Towards the end of the century Romanticism began to affect artistic production, and can be seen in the portraits of artists such as Henry Raeburn. It also contributed to a tradition of Scottish landscape painting that focused on the Highlands, formulated by figures including Alexander Nasmyth. The Royal Scottish Academy of Art was created in 1826, and major portrait painters of this period included Andrew Geddes and David Wilkie. William Dyce emerged as one of the most significant figures in art education in the United Kingdom. The beginnings of a Celtic Revival can be seen in the late nineteenth century and the art scene was dominated by the work of the Glasgow Boys and the Four, led Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who gained an international reputation for their combination of Celtic revival, Art and Crafts and Art Nouveau. The early twentieth century was dominated by the Scottish Colourists and the Edinburgh School. They have been described as the first Scottish modern artists and were the major mechanism by which post-impressionism reached Scotland. There was a growing interest in forms of Modernism, with William Johnstone helping to develop the concept of a Scottish Renaissance. In the post-war period, major artists, including John Bellany and Alexander Moffat, pursued a strand of "Scottish realism". Moffat's influence can be seen in the work of the "new Glasgow Boys" from the late twentieth century. In the twenty-first century Scotland has continued to produce successful and influential such as Douglas Gordon, David Mach, Susan Philipsz and Richard Wright.
Scotland possess significant collections of art, such as the National Gallery of Scotland and National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the Burrell Collection and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. Significant schools of art include the Edinburgh College of Art and the Glasgow School of Art. The major funding body with responsibility for the arts in Scotland is Creative Scotland. Support is also given by local councils and independent foundations.
Scotland's media are partly separate from the rest of the UK. For example, Scotland has several national newspapers, such as the Daily Record (Scotland's leading tabloid), the broadsheet The Herald, based in Glasgow, and The Scotsman in Edinburgh. Sunday newspapers include the tabloid Sunday Mail (published by Daily Record parent company Trinity Mirror and the Sunday Post, while the Sunday Herald and Scotland on Sunday have associations with The Herald and The Scotsman respectively.)
Scotland has its own BBC services which include the national radio stations, BBC Radio Scotland and Scottish Gaelic language service BBC Radio nan Gaidheal. There are also a number of BBC and independent local radio stations throughout the country. In addition to radio, BBC Scotland also runs two national television stations. Much of the output of BBC Scotland Television, such as news and current affairs programmes, and the Glasgow-based soap opera, River City, are intended for broadcast within Scotland, while others, such as drama and comedy programmes, aim at audiences throughout the UK and further afield.
Two Independent Television stations, STV and ITV, also broadcast in Scotland. Most of the independent television output is the same as that transmitted in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, with the exception of news and current affairs, sport, comedy, cultural and Scottish Gaelic-language programming.
As one of the Celtic nations, Scotland is represented at the Celtic Media Festival (formerly known as the Celtic International Film Festival). Scottish entrants have won many awards since the festival began in 1980. Scottish sponsors and partners of the event include Highlands and Islands Enterprise, BBC Scotland, MG Alba, Scottish Screen, STV and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Although the deep-fried Mars bar is jokingly said to exemplify the modern Scottish diet, Scottish cuisine offers traditional dishes such as fish and chips, haggis, the Arbroath Smokie, salmon, venison, cranachan, the bannock, stovies, Scotch broth, tattie scone and shortbread.
Scotland has a strong philosophical tradition, unusual for such a small country. Duns Scotus was one of the premier medieval scholastics. In the Scottish Enlightenment Edinburgh was home to much intellectual talent, including Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith. Other cities also produced major thinkers at that time: e.g. Aberdeen's Thomas Reid.
Halloween, on the night of October 31, is a traditional and much celebrated holiday in Scotland. The name Halloween was first attested in the 16th century as a Scottish shortening of All-Hallows-Eve, and according to some historians it has its roots in the Gaelic festival of Samhain, when the Gaels believed the border between this world and the otherworld became thin, and the dead would revisit the mortal world. In 1780, Dumfries poet John Mayne noted Halloween pranks: "What fearfu' pranks ensue!", as well as the supernatural associations of that night, "Bogies" (ghosts). The bard of Scotland Robert Burns' 1785 poem Halloween is recited by Scots at Halloween, and Burns was influenced by Mayne's composition. In Scotland, traditional Halloween customs include: Guising — children in costume going from door to door demanding food or coins — which became established practice by the late 19th century, turnips hollowed out and carved with faces to make lanterns, and parties with games such as apple bobbing. Further contemporary imagery of Halloween is derived from Gothic and horror literature (notably Shelley's Frankenstein and Stoker's Dracula), and classic horror films (such as Hammer Horrors). Mass transatlantic Irish and Scottish immigration in the 19th century popularized Halloween in North America.
Scotland also has its own unique family of languages and dialects, helping to foster a strong sense of "Scottish-ness". See Scots language and Scottish Gaelic language. An organisation called Iomairt Cholm Cille (Columba Project) has been set up to support Gaelic-speaking communities in both Scotland and Ireland and to promote links between them.
Scotland retains its own national church, separate from that of England. See Church of Scotland and Religion in the United Kingdom. There is also a large minority of Roman Catholics, around 16% of the population.
The patron saint of Scotland is Saint Andrew, and Saint Andrew's Day is celebrated in Scotland on 30 November. Saint (Queen) Margaret, Saint Columba and Saint Ninian have also historically enjoyed great popularity.
As one of the Celtic nations, Scotland is represented at interceltic events at home and around the world. Scotland is host to two interceltic music festivals – the Scottish Arts Council funded Celtic Connections, Glasgow, and the Hebridean Celtic Festival, Stornoway – that were founded in the mid-1990s.
Scottish culture is also represented at interceltic festivals of music and culture worldwide. Among the most well known are Festival Interceltique de Lorient – held annually in Brittany since 1971 – the Pan Celtic Festival, Ireland, and the National Celtic Festival, Portarlington, Australia.
The closing ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games was held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, the main stadium of the event, in New Delhi, India. It began at 7:00 pm (IST) on 14 October 2010 and ended at 9:20 pm (IST). The ceremony included display of martial arts from a number of states of India followed by musical performances and showcasing the culture of Scotland, which will host the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.Celt (disambiguation)
The Celts were Iron Age inhabitants of Europe, who spoke Celtic languages and shared other cultural features.
Culture of Ireland
Culture of Scotland
Culture of the Isle of Man
Culture of Wales
Culture of Cornwall
Culture of BrittanyCeltic culture
Celtic culture may refer to:
Ancient Celtic culture
Gaelic cultureThe Celtic culture of the Celtic nations:
Culture of Ireland
Culture of Scotland
Culture of the Isle of Man
Culture of Wales
Culture of Cornwall
Culture of Brittany
Culture of GaliciaCrofting
Crofting is a form of land tenure and small-scale food production particular to the Scottish Highlands, the islands of Scotland, and formerly on the Isle of Man.
Within the 19th century townships, individual crofts are established on the better land, and a large area of poorer-quality hill ground is shared by all the crofters of the township for grazing of their livestock.Culture of Scotland in the High Middle Ages
Culture of Scotland in the High Middle Ages refers to the forms of cultural expression that come from Scotland in the High Medieval period which, for the purposes of this article, refers to the period between the death of Domnall II in 900, and the death of Alexander III in 1286. The unity of the period is suggested by the immense breaks which occur in Scottish history because of the Wars of Scottish Independence, the Stewart accession and transformations which occur in Scottish society in the fourteenth century and afterwards. The period differentiates itself because of the predominance of Gaelic culture, and, later in the medieval, Scoto-Norman French culture.Duncarron
Duncarron is the complete reproduction of a fortified village from the early Middle Ages of Scotland. It is the reconstruction of a typical residence of a scottish Clan Chief from the early part of the last millennium. The supporter is the recognized nonprofit organization The Clanranald Trust for Scotland, based in Carronvalley/Scotland. Chairman is Charlie Allan. Duncarron is located in the Carron Valley on the eastern end of the Carron Valley Reservoir in close to Stirling. The medieval village is built with the help of volunteers from all walks of life, it is intended to preserve and disseminate the scottish culture and the scottish heritage through education, active participation and entertainment.Hogmanay
Hogmanay (Scots: [ˌhɔɡməˈneː]; English: HOG-mə-NAY) is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year (Gregorian calendar) in the Scottish manner. It is normally followed by further celebration on the morning of New Year's Day (1 January) or, in some cases, 2 January—a Scottish bank holiday.
The origins of Hogmanay are unclear, but it may be derived from Norse and Gaelic observances. Customs vary throughout Scotland, and usually include gift-giving and visiting the homes of friends and neighbours, with special attention given to the first-foot, the first guest of the new year.Kailyard school
The Kailyard school of Scottish fiction (1880-1914) was developed in the last decades of the 19th century as a reaction against what was seen as increasingly coarse writing representing Scottish life complete with all its blemishes. It has been considered to be an overly sentimental representation of rural life, cleansed of real problems and issues that affected the people, but proved for a time extremely popular. Its name derives ultimately from the Scots "kailyaird" or "kailyard", which means a small cabbage patch (see kale) or kitchen garden, usually adjacent to a cottage; but more immediately from Ian Maclaren's 1894 book Beside the Bonnie Brier Bush whose title alludes to the Jacobite song "There grows a bonnie brier bush in our Kailyard".Writers of the Kailyard school included J. M. Barrie, Ian Maclaren, J. J. Bell, George MacDonald, Gabriel Setoun, and S. R. Crockett.
Barrie's Auld Licht Idylls (1888), A Window in Thrums (1889), and The Little Minister (1891); and Crockett's The Stickit Minister (1893) are among the more lasting products of the school.Kilt
A kilt (Scottish Gaelic: fèileadh [ˈfeːləɣ]) is a type of knee-length non-bifurcated skirt with pleats at the back, originating in the traditional dress of Gaelic men and boys in the Scottish Highlands. It is first recorded in the 16th century as the great kilt, a full-length garment whose upper half could be worn as a cloak. The small kilt or modern kilt emerged in the 18th century, and is essentially the bottom half of the great kilt. Since the 19th century, it has become associated with the wider culture of Scotland, and more broadly with Gaelic or Celtic heritage. It is most often made of woollen cloth in a tartan pattern.
Although the kilt is most often worn on formal occasions and at Highland games and sports events, it has also been adapted as an item of informal male clothing in recent years, returning to its roots as an everyday garment. Particularly in North America, kilts are now made for casual wear in a variety of materials. Alternative fastenings may be used and pockets inserted to avoid the need for a sporran. Kilts have also been adopted as female wear for some sports.Lucia di Lammermoor
Lucia di Lammermoor is a dramma tragico (tragic opera) in three acts by Gaetano Donizetti. Salvadore Cammarano wrote the Italian-language libretto loosely based upon Sir Walter Scott's historical novel The Bride of Lammermoor.Donizetti wrote Lucia di Lammermoor in 1835, a time when several factors led to the height of his reputation as a composer of opera. Gioachino Rossini had recently retired and Vincenzo Bellini had died shortly before the premiere of Lucia leaving Donizetti as "the sole reigning genius of Italian opera". Not only were conditions ripe for Donizetti's success as a composer, but there was also a European interest in the history and culture of Scotland. The perceived romance of its violent wars and feuds, as well as its folklore and mythology, intrigued 19th century readers and audiences. Sir Walter Scott dramatized these elements in his novel The Bride of Lammermoor, which inspired several musical works including Lucia.The story concerns the emotionally fragile Lucy Ashton (Lucia) who is caught in a feud between her own family and that of the Ravenswoods. The setting is the Lammermuir Hills of Scotland (Lammermoor) in the 17th century.Media of Scotland
Scottish media has a long and distinct history. Scotland has a wide range of different types and quality of media.Music schools in Scotland
Music schools in Scotland are available at several levels. Formal music education begins at 4½ years and can progress as high as postgraduate studies. Education in Scotland is a responsibility of the Scottish Government. Music is regarded as being an integral part of the culture of Scotland.Outline of Scotland
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Scotland:
Scotland – country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the largest island, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the southwest. In addition to the mainland, Scotland consists of over 790 islands including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, (Scottish Gaelic: Conservatoire Rìoghail na h-Alba) formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, is a conservatoire of dance, drama, music, production and film in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious performing arts schools in the United Kingdom, and ranked third in the world as of 2017. Founded in 1847, it has become the busiest performing arts venue in Scotland with over 500 public performances each year.
The current Principal is American pianist and composer Jeffrey Sharkey, the President is Sir Cameron Mackintosh, and the Patron is HRH The Duke of Rothesay.Scottish Place-Name Society
The Scottish Place-Name Society (Comann Ainmean-Áite na h-Alba in Gaelic) is a learned society in Scotland concerned with toponymy, the study of place-names. Its scholars aim to explain the origin and history of the place-names they study, taking into account the meaning of the elements out of which they were created; the topography, geology and ecology of the places bearing the names; and the general and local history and culture of Scotland.
The Society was founded in February 1996. The Society's journal, The Journal of Scottish Name Studies (JSNS), has been published since 2007.Scottish country dance
Scottish country dance (SCD) is the distinctively Scottish form of country dance, itself a form of social dance involving groups of couples of dancers tracing progressive patterns. A dance consists of a sequence of figures. These dances are set to musical forms (Jigs, Reels and Strathspey Reels) which come from the Gaelic tradition of Highland Scotland, as do the steps used in performing the dances. Traditionally a figure corresponds to an eight-bar phrase of music.
Country dancing, which is arguably a type of folk dancing, first appears in the historical record in 17th-century England. Scottish country dancing as we know it today has its roots in an 18th-century fusion of (English) country dance formations with Highland music and footwork. It has become the national ballroom dance form of Scotland, partly because "Caledonian Country Dances" became popular in upper-class London society in the decades after the Rebellion of 1745.When it first became popular around the 18th century, it was as a shorter, quicker form of dance that was a light relief from the more courtly dances normally danced. Derived from early British forms of country dancing, SCD is related to English country dancing, contra dancing, Cèilidh dancing, Old time dancing and Irish set dancing due to the combination of some of these dance forms in early Country dance forms and later cross-over introduced by their overlapping influences via dancers and dance masters.
Scottish country dancing (a social form of dance with two or more couples of dancers) should not be confused with Scottish highland dance (a solo form of dance). There is a certain amount of cross-over, in that there are Scottish country dances that include highland elements as well as highland-style performance dances which use formations otherwise seen in country dances, but these are relatively few when the two dance forms are considered each as a whole.Scottish cuisine
Scottish cuisine is the specific set of cooking traditions, practices and cuisines associated with Scotland. It has distinctive attributes and recipes of its own, but shares much with wider British and European cuisine as a result of local and foreign influences, both ancient and modern. Traditional Scottish dishes exist alongside international foodstuffs brought about by migration.
Scotland's natural larder of game, dairy products, fish, fruit, and vegetables is the chief factor in traditional Scots cooking, with a high reliance on simplicity and a lack of spices from abroad, as these were historically rare and expensive.Tourism in Scotland
Scotland is a well-developed tourist destination, with tourism generally being responsible for sustaining 200,000 jobs mainly in the service sector, with tourist spending averaging at £4bn per year. In 2013, for example, UK visitors made 18.5 million visits to Scotland, staying 64.5 million nights and spending £3.7bn. In contrast, overseas residents made 1.58 million visits to Scotland, staying 15 million nights and spending £806m. In terms of overseas visitors, those from the United States made up 24% of visits to Scotland, with the United States being the largest source of overseas visitors, and Germany (9%), France (8%), Canada (7%) and Australia (6%), following behind.Scotland is generally seen as a clean, unspoilt destination with beautiful scenery which has a long and complex history, combined with thousands of historic sites and attractions. These include prehistoric stone circles, standing stones and burial chambers, and various Bronze Age, Iron Age and Stone Age remains. There are also many historic castles, houses, and battlegrounds, ruins and museums. Many people are drawn by the culture of Scotland.
The cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow are increasingly being seen as a cosmopolitan alternative to Scotland's countryside, with visitors year round, but the main tourist season is generally from April to October inclusive. In addition to these factors, the national tourist agency, VisitScotland, have deployed a strategy of niche marketing, aimed at exploiting, amongst other things, Scotland's strengths in golf, fishing and food and drink tourism. Another significant, and increasingly popular reason for tourism to Scotland—especially by those from North America—is genealogy, with many visitors coming to Scotland to explore their family and ancestral roots.Up Helly Aa
Up Helly Aa ( or UP-hel-ee-ə; literally "Up Holy [Day] All") can refer to any of twelve fire festivals held annually in the Shetland Islands of Scotland, in the middle of winter to mark the end of the yule season. The main festival involves a procession of up to a thousand guizers in Lerwick and considerably lower numbers in the more rural festivals, formed into squads who march through the town or village in a variety of themed costumes. In Lerwick girls and women are excluded from participating as guizers, despite discussions in 2018 and 2019.
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