No need to say that the rest of the world is skeptical about traditional Scottish kilts that men are wearing so proudly. Also, the traditional haggis makes foreigners deny their hunger and take a glass of whiskey instead of a proper dinner. But if you think that these a few things are the only weird customs you can experience in Scotland, then you are deeply wrong! Scotland is an old country with its unique heritage. There is a belief that strong wind and harsh weather conditions are making people a little bit mad. That is not a proven fact, but the possibility that you can see and even try these unique customs and traditions while visiting Scotland is ensured!
Tartan, Kilts, and Bagpipes
These three things are the synonyms of Scotland, and people know the words, but they are lost in conception. Scottish kilt is the traditional skirts for men, and it is taken as a symbol of patriotism and honor. If you are a tourist in Scotland then you should remember that kilts are almost sacred here, so you should never ever make a joke about them in any circumstances. According to historical sources, the kilt appeared in the 16th century. The initial design of them was a full-length garment whose upper half could be worn over the head as a hood, or as a cloak draped over the shoulder. Later, it was developed into a simpler piece of cloth and spread around the whole country. The kilts made of high-quality woolen became popular because they allowed people to move freely, protected the skin against cold wind and rain, and could easily be removed and used as a blanket during cold nights.
The Scottish kilts are made of tartan. This is a warm, colorful material with crisscrossed horizontal and vertical pattern and made from wool. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland and its pattern was unique to the clan initially. Originally, tartan was made in one of three main natural colors: green, blue, and yellow. Green represented prairies or forests, blue stood for lakes and rivers, and yellow was associated with various crops, as a result, these colors were representing different parts of Scotland.
The third synonym of Scotland is the national instrument bagpipe. In the beginning, it was more popular in the Highlands, and later the popularity of bagpipe has spread. The instrument is easily recognized because there is a huge bag made of sheepskin and four pipes that rise out of this bag. Even if the instrument looks quite funny, the sound is very melancholic and beautiful. When the music of bagpipe is accompanied by the traditional Scottish songs, it is easy to burst into tears.
If you want to see a lot of kilts in one place, enjoy the music of bagpipes, try haggis, and discover the true power of Scots, then you must visit the Highland Games. This is an annual sports festival when all competitors put their muscles to the test wearing their national clothes. The tasks include such contests as hammer throw, caber toss, hill race, and many others. The event is just spectacular, so if you have a chance to participate, do not hesitate to do it!