Scotland Local Custom Tips by keeweechic
Scotland Local Customs: 109 reviews and 144 photos
Tartan has become the main symbol of Scottish culture, an emblem of Scottish ancestry. Most people in Scotland probably don't even own a kilt and will hire one only for a social occasions like Weddings, Hogmanay and evening functions.
The modern Highland outfit is completely different from the early dress. today's kilt is made from eight yards of cloth but the original kilt could sometimes take up thirty feet which made it heavier for the colder Scottish weather.. The earliest instance of tartan dates back to the 3rd century AD. A two coloured check design was coloured by vegetable dyes. The different colours represent the different districts. It is a tradition that no undergarments be underneath the kilt, and it is military regulation for soldiers in Highland regiments.
However, there are exceptions. In Highland dancing, or for athletes for Highland games and band leaders (who have to raise their knees up to chest level for keeping time), it is more fitting that these people are permitted to wear undergarments. Civilians please themselves.
If you reside outside of the European Union, you will most likely be able to claim back the VAT (value added tax 17.5%) you have paid. Make sure you keep all your receipts. Some shops, selling more expensive goods, operate a scheme for overseas visitors outside the European Union, to sell to you without VAT at the time of buying.
Scotland, while very scenic it is famous for the weather being unpredictable. It can change very fast in a short space of time, especially in mountain and sea areas. When packing, always best to ensure for all types of weather. During the summer months, the hours of daylight are long and it may not get dark until after 11pm.
Robert Louis Stevenson described the weather as :
'The weather is raw and boisterous in winter, shifty and ungenial in summer and downright meteorological purgatory in spring.'
The Scots celebrate the New Year with great passion. New Year’s Eve in Scotland is called Hogmanay, (Moon of the Hag), There are several opinions about where the name came from. One would be it is from the Gaelic "oge maide" which means New Morning. Another would be the Anglo Saxon "Haleg Monath" that means Holy Month. Yet another would be the ancient Greek word "Hagmena" which means Holymoon.
Only some people in Scotland still follow an old tradition of giving gifts on Hogmanay, instead of Christmas. They do this because a long time ago the Scottish were banned from celebrating Christmas. They moved their celebration to Hogmanay
In the last two weeks of August and the beginning of September, the Edinburgh Festival takes place in a large variety of city venues catering for all interests from comedy to serious theatre, street entertainers to full orchestras.
This is the busiest time of year attracting thousands of international visitors.
The bagpipes are one of the oldest instruments in existence. The bagpipe is believed to have had its origins in the Middle East before it spread through Europe's early civilizations showing up on the Scottish landscape.
Highland Bagpipes, which are the most familiar pipes to many people, have three drones that come out the top of the bag which produce a constant sound, a single chanter which plays the melodies of the nine note pipe scale, and a bag made of sheep or elk skin which holds air. The piper presses the bag with his arm when he wants to take a breath. This allows the music to flow without pauses.
When the bagpipes made their way to Scotland, they quickly became a part of Scottish life. Bagpipers would play for all occasions. Over time, various styles emerged such as marches, strathsplays, hornpipes, and reels. Today, Scottish pipers are found busking, welcoming guests at functions or playing in marching bands.
In Scotland pubs and clubs are open all day Sundays, many in the town centre are open till three or four in the morning although the majority close at 2300 weekdays and late on the weekends. In Scotland it was the first time ever I had found a pub with no ice.
The electricity supply voltage is 230V. Equipment rated at 220V may function, but it is advisable to check with the manufacturer before using it in the UK. The standard plug in the UK is a three flat pin model.
Oldest Pub in Glasgow
Tipping in the United Kingdom is very much at your own discretion. If the service is good, then it is considered good practice to tip. The amount is up to you, but around 10% tends to be standard.
Pubs : In Scotland pubs and clubs are permitted to sell alcohol from 1100-2300 on Mondays to Saturdays and 1230-1430 and 1830-2300 on Sundays.
Scotland has different banknotes to the rest of the UK, these are still acceptable throughout the whole country.
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