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March 4, 2008 18:43 - March Highland Games

First I must apologize. I went to the Celtic Festival in Zephyrhills, Florida. Somehow I walked out and drove off without the things I needed to do my blog while I was there, as well as a sun hat and a sweater. I've just gotten back home and will write more tomorrow about the Festival in Zephyrhills.

Now, for the monthly listing of Highland Games for those who could use a good dose of Highland Games. If you want to hire a local bagpiper, see some samples of different tartans up close, view different interpretations of the various styles of kilts, learn more about your clan's history, hear some different ideas for music, eat a day-full of Scottish food, and see lots of Scottish traditions first hand ~ then a nice Highland Game is the way to go.

For more detailed information about the events listed, go to U.S. Scots and the Scottish Heritage Society.

  • March 2 to 4, Dallas, TX ~ North Texas Celtic Festival
  • March 3 to 4, Wheeling, WV ~ Wheeling Celtic Celebration
  • March 1 to 2, Zephyr Hills, FL ~ Zephyrhills Celtic Festival
  • March 4, Peace River, FL ~ Peace River Celtic Festival
  • March 4, Victoria, Australia ~ Ringwood Highland Games
  • March 10 to 12, Midland, TX ~ Midland Scottish-Irish Faire
  • March 9 to 11, Laurinburg, NC ~ Scottish Heritage Weekend
  • March 10 to 11, Panama City, FL ~ Panama City Scottish Festival
  • March 10 to 11, Calaveras, CA ~ Calaveras Celtic Faire
  • March 11, Mt Pleasant (near Charleston), SC ~ Fire in the Field Celtic Music Fest
  • March 14 to 18, Vancouver, BC, Canada ~ CeltFest Vancouver
  • March 16, Houston, TX ~ Houston Scottish Festival Spectacular
  • March 17, Tucson, AZ ~ Tucson St Patrick's Day Parade
  • March 16 to 18, Ellenville, NY ~ Spring Scottish Weekend in the Highlands
  • March 18, Victoria, Australia ~ Geelong Highland Gathering
  • March 23, Dunedin, FL ~ Dunedin Tattoo
  • March 23 to 24, Mint Hill, NC ~ Mint Hill Scottish Festival
  • March 25 to 27, Sumter, SC ~ Sumter Scottish Fair
  • March 25, Bathurst, NSW, Australia ~ The Scots School Bathurst Highland Gathering
  • March 30 to April 1, Pozo, CA ~ Pozo Highland Games
  • March 31 to April 1, Hawaii ~ Hawaiian Highland Games
  • March 31 to April 1, Helotis, TX ~ San Antonio Highland Games
  • March 31, Dunedin, FL ~ Dunedin Highland Games & Festival

March 5, 2008 13:57 - Zephyrhills Celtic Festival

This was only the 8th festival and games sponsored by Zephyrhills. Though it wasn't a large festival, it was fun and the different events were well represented.

The competitive dancers were highly competitive and though I didn't stay to see the final winners, I don't envy the judge having to make final selections.

The Clan MacKinnon was highlighted this year, featuring their tartan, clan badge, and clan motto.

There were a total of 11 bands competing. The once that surprised me the most and brought the greatest joy was the Denedin Highland Middle School Pipe Band. I had known about their high school pipe band, but the middle school band came as a total surprise for me.

I made it to the opening ceremony and band parade. Again the most pleasant surprise was an Irish Civil War group, with a lady dressed in historical garb, including a tartan skirt.

The parade also included a group of Celtic dogs, including the Scottish Deerhound, Welsh Corgi, Scottish Terriers, West Highland Terriers and others.

Tomorrow, I'll have photos from the Festival ready to post.

March 6, 2008 16:02 - Zephyrhills Celtic Festival Photos

Photos from the 8th annual Zephyrhills Celtic Festival and Highland Games ~

This is either the 28 or 56 pound throw. Notice the couple on the right, in the same tartan. She was also competing in the ladies' events. With this selection of different tartans, you can see how even different tartans seem to blend into a colorful whole.

As mentioned yesterday, there was an Irish Civil War Unit present for the parade and ceremony. The lady holding the Irish unit's flag is wearing a historical era costume, including a tartan skirt.

Of the 11 bands present, here's some photos of them marching off the parade grounds. Some are wearing short sleeves, others long...some have on vests...both ties and tieless can be seen. This is a good opportunity to see a variety to choose from for your wedding.

This shot of the Harp & Thistle Pipe Band shows kilts 'sett to the stripe'. When they walk, the plaid really swishes and swirls.

Notice the Prince Charlie jackets and dark socks ~ another choice for the groom and his men.

The bands represented were ~

  • City of Dunedin Pipe Band
  • Duncan McCall Pipe Band
  • Dunedin High School Pipe Band
  • Dunedin Highland Middle School Pipe Band
  • Fort Lauderdale Highlanders Pipe Band
  • Harp & Thistle Pipe Band of SW Florida
  • Lyon College Pipe Band
  • Rosie O-Grady's Highlanders Pipe Band
  • Tampa Bay Pipes and Drums

Tomorrow, the sad tale of Helen Gunn will continue…

March 7, 2008 15:00 - Helen Gunn ~ Part II

Continuing the saga of Helen Gunn, here's the beginning of the poem, telling of her wedding…







The harp that has rung with the strains of the fight,
"Shall to beauty and love be devoted tonight";
For the maiden is wed that we all did adore
The pride of our valley, the flower of Braemore.

Tho' here we are all full of joy and delight,
There are hearts in the glen that are breaking tonight,
And many a sigh from the sad bosom wrung,
Is heaving for Helen, the charming and young.

The Keith in the lowlands, that dastardly hoard,
For the loss of the maiden may brandish his sword;
But we mind not his threats -- let him come to Braemore,
And we will give him a taste of the Highland Claymore!

May the choicest of blessings descend from above,
On the gallant young man and his dear lady love;
And long may they flourish in beauty and pride,
Like the ash and the birch on you green mountain side.



Monday, read of Helen's abduction to Castle Ackergill…


March 10, 2008 13:59 - Helen Gunn ~ Part III

Knowing her end if she remained at Castle Ackergill and with no means of escape, Helen charmed a guard into letting her climb the castle tower to view the surrounding countryside…







On came the gale, impetuous and rude,
Howling in hollow gusts where Helen stood.
She gazed around her on the troubled scene --
There was a calm composure on her mien,
And on her lips a faint smile seemed to play,
A moment's space, and then it died away.
She raised her hands on high, and prayed to Heaven,
That all her youthfull sins might be forgiven,
And this, a greater than them all combined,
The last sad crime of an unhappy mind;
Then from the top she sprang in frantic woe,
And instant fell a lifeless corpse below.



Tomorrow, retribution, retaliation and death…

March 11, 2008 06:18 - Helen Gunn ~ Part IV

Several battles of no consequence were fought in retaliation. One year after Helen's death, the two clans agreed to meet at Tannach Moor. The Keiths won, slaying two Gunn chiefs and many clansmen.

The Battle of Mannistanes occurred about ten years later, near Hallberry Castle. There are many standing stones in the area, thus the name 'many stones'.

'Big Keith' was the champion of the Keiths. He carried a large Claymore and killed several Gunns. One wounded Gunn drew his dirk and sliced Big Keith's tendon, crippling him. Both sides claimed victory, saying the other fled.

Several Gunns were captured and their eyes were torn from the sockets. This was a common Norse practice from olden times. The Keiths returned home with a huge black raven, saying he'd torn out the eyes. The raven was a symbol of Odin. Many Viking families had raven banners, including the Jarls of Orkney. As told in Part I, a Gunn had slain a Jarl in the 13th century.

The two clans fought the Battle of Dirlot in 1464. Both sides lost a large number of men. Though the Gunns lost the battle, they were renowned for their archers and broadswords and claymores.

Tomorrow a Battle of Champions to end it all…

March 12, 2008 16:13 - Helen Gunn ~ Part V, The Battle of St. Tears

The farms of both sides were going unattended and lying fallow. There weren't enough men to harvest adequate foodstuffs. In 1464, George Gunn, The Crowner, and George Keith agreed to a 'Battle of Champions' to settle the rivalry.

Twelve horsemen from each clan were to meet at the Chapel of St. Tears. Old Celtic accounts name the spot, 'the Brook of the Year-Old Calves'. The Gunns arrived first with the twelve horsemen and went to the chapel to pray. The Keiths came with two men per horse, giving them twenty-four horsemen. They attacked the Gunns in the chapel. The battle spilled out onto the surrounding countryside. Many died on both sides, including George, The Crowner, Chieftain of the Gunns.

Some say the battle never occurred, but for many years the bloodstains could still be seen on the chapel walls.

The Keiths stole the Gunn badge of office, a great silver brooch. It has never been recovered.

At a later date, William MacKames, a grandson of George Gunn, attacked and killed George Keith, son of the George Keith at the Battle of St. Tears, his son and ten Keith clansmen at Drummoy.

From here the hatred continued on, but let's move on to more pleasant topics…

March 13, 2008 06:51 - Groom's Guests on the Right, Groom on the Right, Right?

OK. Got it. He goes on the right. So do his guests. But, why?

As a warrior's prize, a captured bride needed to be held with his left hand, so his right was free to fight off her family or foes with his sword. Interesting insight into the wedding ceremony customs, isn't it?

It only follows his friends and family would be near his side, to come to his aid if needed.

Helen Gunn's wedding, as explained in the February 27, 2008, blog The Beautiful Helen Gunn ~ Part I, is a good example of this precaution.

You have to wonder if she, her family, or her groom knew of Dugald's scheme? This time the groom hadn't stolen her. But Dugald Keith of Ackergill certainly did!

Her groom, Alexander, died during the abduction. Did he have his sword on? Had he just used his sword during the wedding ceremony, swearing the 'Pledge to Provide and Protect' his bride?

Had she woven an arasaid for her wedding? Was she wearing it when she jumped? Was she buried in it, as she had planned when weaving it? Or was it destroyed in the jump?

Was her marriage consummated? If so, did her mother get to help her don her new Breid Tri Chearnach? Or was she still wearing her hair cockernonie?

These are questions about her abduction and the Scottish wedding traditions that had been important to her. They will go down through history unanswered.

Tomorrow, a few more Scottish wedding traditions explained…

March 14, 2008 10:59 - St Patrick's Day is Coming Soon…Part I

St Patrick's Day holds many fond memories for me. In some branches of my family, we arrived here via the Irish Plantations. So my mother always made sure we were dressed in something green on March 17th, with absolutely no orange visible anywhere. There would always be something green for dinner.

I still don a green Notre Dame baseball shirt on St Patrick's day. Or a green beret I made for my mother and reinherited.

St Patrick's Day will be here on Monday. Besides being just plain fun to celebrate. There are many connections between the Highlanders of Scotland and the Celts of Ireland. Wa-a-a-y back, those Highlanders left Ireland and came to Scotland.

Then there's the Scots who immigrated to the Irish Plantations and then on to the Americas.

Take a look at a map of Scotland. It's just a hop, skip, and a jump over the sea to Ireland. Back and forth wasn't a big trip. There's mixed blood going both ways. So if you're having a wedding near St. Patrick's Day, at least consider an Irish theme.

There's wedding dresses, tartans, flowers, claddaghs, green beer (ummmm). If the rivers in Chicago can flow green for one day, and pubs can serve green beer, surely a keg or two can be ordered for an individual.

Always most important, Monday will feature dresses…

March 17, 2008 17:32 - St Patrick's Day Wedding Dresses ~ Part II

Irish dresses and tartans are the basis on which to build an Irish wedding theme.

This first style, Isla, is often featured on Scottish pages. It's popular, soooo Celtic, and lovely.

Heritage of Scotland offers a nice selection of styles available in Irish American, Irish Diaspora, Irish National, and St Patrick tartans. They have 9 styles ranging from $670 to $2300.


Image courtesy Heritage of Scotland
Isla Tartan Wedding Gown

Wedding Tartans show Isla in a different tartan. Their wedding dress tartans are St Patrick in wool and Irish National in silk.

In the same price range Clan Gatherings has silk bustiers, skirts, dresses, and custom dressmaking all available in Irish National and several county tartans.

If you're looking for something less expensive Very Merry Seamstress has a selection of Celtic, Court, Irish, and Scottish gowns, plus others.


Image courtesy Very Merry Seamstress
Galaine Ensemble

The Galaine gown starts in a basic package at $175 with a generic tartan. Specific tartans are available at higher prices.

Bloomers 4 U has a variety of corsets available that could be used for an Irish maiden wedding ensemble. The Leona corset is priced at $95.


Image courtesy Bloomers 4 U
6909 Leona Corset

Very Merry Seamstress has 4 yard skirts from $35 to $400 and chemises in muslin, satin, and cotton from $50 to $135 in white and colors.


Tomorrow, shoes, Irish lace, and Irish Tartans…

March 18, 2008 19:54 - Irish Wedding Themes & Tartans ~ Part III

Very Merry Seamstress also has appropriate shoes and sandals. Along with some other sources, here's a link to shoes and sandals . I'm particularly fond of the Ghillie Sandal.

Another idea would be a dress sewn of Irish lace. This Patterns of Time 1899 Ball Gown with Loose Train is a good starting point.

The Irish Lace Museum has a limited selection of antique dresses, bodices, stoles, jackets, and veils for sale.

The Irish Tartans readily available are Irish National WR2245, Ireland's National 3072, St Patrick WR945, and Lochcarron's Shamrock and Harp Emblem Tartan.


Irish National Tartan WR2245


Ireland's National Tartan 3072


St Patrick Tartan WR945


Lochcarron Shamrock and Harp Emblem Tartan

Referring back to the Isla, or other double layered tartan gowns, the Shamrock
and Harp could be the outer skirt, with St. Patrick tartan for the under skirt. The groom could wear any of the Irish tartans, if buying his kilt. For rentals, Black Watch would be good for the groomsmen and fathers. Some of the rental companies also have Irish National available.

Another bridal gown idea is any of the Irish tartans for the outer skirt with a solid green for the underskirt…or a green velvet or satin bodice with a tartan skirt.

Tomorrow, green flowers for a St Patrick wedding theme…

March 19, 2008 13:26 - Green Flowers For an Irish Theme Wedding ~ Part IV

Now, how about some green flowers. Some choices are Bells of Ireland, shamrocks, shamrock blossoms, hop pods, green snowballs, or green hydrangeas mixed with white heather or white roses.

These could be featured individually, mixed together, or simply interspersed among white roses or daisies.


Bells of Ireland
Image courtesy Burpee Seed Company


Shamrock Blossom
Image courtesy Stock Exchange


Shamrocks
Image courtesy Morgue files


Lily of the Valley
Image courtesy Morgue Files


English Daisy
Image courtesy Wikipedia


Hops
Image courtesy Stock Exchange


Snowball
Image courtesy Image courtesy Morgue Files


White Roses
Image courtesy Morgue Files


White Heather
Image courtesy Clipart


White Lilacs
Image courtesy Wikipedia

As yet, I've not found any sources for Irish tartan ribbons. But they have to be out there somewhere. If you know of one, please let me know. Meanwhile, most tartan ribbon suppliers stock Black Watch. In lieu of other choices, Black Watch ribbon will do quite nicely for your bouquets, boutonnieres, pew bows, gifts, and possibly part of your cake decoration.

One last Irish point…wedding confetti. Exclusively Yours sells shamrock confetti.

[Editor's note 3-17-09, The above URL works fine in Internet Explorer, but has ceased to work in Mozilla Firefox]

[Editor’s Note June 5, 2010 ~ the URL now requires a user name and password. Instead go to Exclusively Yours the main page/Online Shop/Confetti/St. Patrick’s Day Confetti]

By putting all these ideas together, plus more you're sure to think of, you can have a very St Patrick's Day wedding…but it can be any day of the year!

Tomorrow, the Scottish Wedding Oathing Stone Tradition…

March 20, 2008 12:30 - The Oathing Stone

Thanks to one of my readers, I see I have listed a few traditions for the Wedding Ceremony Traditions, then ignored them completely.

Late, but here they are…

Oathing Stone

Stones and water were both very important in Celtic traditions. An oath given near a stone or water was considered more binding. This evolved into the bride and groom either holding or putting their hands together on a stone as they repeated their wedding vows. Some believe the phrase 'set them in stone' arose from this custom.

In some areas of Scotland, the couple would carve their names on a tree or a stone. Some of these bridal stones still exist in Scotland.

The source of an oathing stone, what minerals are in it, it's color, or other characteristics aren't as important as what's said over the stone.

A stone brought from Scotland would be fantastic. One collected by the couple together would also be appropriate. For the groom to collect a stone as a fairing or love token would also be a nice Scottish touch for your wedding.

The stone can be washed and scrubbed with a stiff brush. Almond oil, available at many larger grocery stores, can be rubbed on several times, then wiped dry and rubbed to a satin sheen.

If you've the time and means, polishing the stone in a tumbler would be great. Etching a Celtic knot with your initials, a Luckenbooth brooch design, the date of your wedding, or your clan badge are ideas for dressing up the stone…not necessary, just an added touch.

Tomorrow, Wedding Confetti, the tradition and sources for tartan confetti and Dorothy bags…

March 21, 2008 11:54 - Wedding Confetti

Thought to originate in Italy, it's really only the word that comes from Italian. In Italy 'confetti is a candy'. The British call it a 'dragee'. Yanks call it a 'Jordan almond'. In Italian, the word for paper confetti is 'coriandoli'.

Scotland is among many cultures that sprinkle paper confetti on the bride and groom. It has replaced the throwing of rice, which was often painful as some folks literally 'pelted' the bride and groom. The throw was meant to wish the couple a fruitful marriage, with lots of strong, healthy children.

Among the confetti available today, those for Scottish weddings are somewhat unique.

A Dorothy bag, also called a dolly bag, carried by the bridesmaids, held the rice or confetti to be thrown at the couple.

One source for Dorothy bags is a company called Fripperies. The bags are made of silk, with decorations of beads and lace tatting.

[Editor’s Note, December 28, 2009 ~ Wedding Garter, aka Fripperies, and their Dorothy bag are no longer a working URL. All the other Dorothy bags I’ve found online are not dainty bridal bags, nor decorated with snippets of fripperies. When I do find one, I’ll post their URL]

Scotland Shop sells tartan confetti.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, Exclusively Yours sells shamrock confetti!

[Editor’s Note June 5, 2010 ~ the URL now requires a user name and password. Instead go to Exclusively Yours the main page/Online Shop/Confetti/St. Patrick’s Day Confetti]

Monday read about the groom's siller…

March 24, 2008 09:08 - Groom's Siller

Once again, in another form, the groom is pledging to 'provide and protect'.

He was expected to bring 'siller', which is silver coins, to the ceremony. More specifically, he gave the officant 13 silver coins, called 'arrhae'. At one point in the ceremony, the priest or minister dropped the coins into the groom's hands. In turn, the groom dropped them into the bride's hands. Next she dropped the coins back into his hands. The groom then dropped the coins into a plate, held by the ministerial assistant.

The noise of the coins dropping from one set of hands to another was to be a reminder of the groom's promise to provide materially for his wife. The bride returning the coins signified her pledge that they would share all their wealth together, plus meting her duty to manage, save, and invest their money with wisdom.

The arrhae also means earnest, or foretaste of something more to come. Like earnest money on a piece of real estate. The word is Phoencian in origin and was applied in Roman law to denote anything give to bind a bargain.

Tomorrow read about Barra and the marriage bed…

March 25, 2008 11:54 - Barra and the Marriage Bed

Another custom I've stumbled on recently is from the island of Barra, in the Outer Hebrides. Being an island they were, of course, surrounded by water. They made their living from the water. Herring and cockles have both been harvested and the primary means of income for the islanders.

Their other primary source of income is tourism. The beaches and dunes abound with rare carpet flowers, such as Irish Lady's Tresses, orchids, and yellow rattle. Storms have uncovered rare Iron Age Brochs. These are round, dry stone, hollow wall structures found only in Scotland. They are believed to have been on the Isles as early as the 1st century B.C.

The clan MacNeil was granted the island by the Lord of the Isles in 1427. In the last census there are 1078 inhabitants. Since St Kilda being abandoned, October 9 & 10, 2008 blogs, Barra is the most western occupied island of Scotland.

On Barra, a wedding tradition is to sprinkle water on the marriage bed, with an accompanying blessing.

Tomorrow learn about the First Foot…


March 26, 2008 09:30 - The Wedding Procession & The First Foot

As seen in the movie 'Under the Lighthouse Dancing', from August 16, 2007 blog, the procession from home to the church played a very important part in the wedding day ceremonies. Often flower petals were strewn in their path by the accompanying family and friends…perhaps even another duty for the flower girl.

If a pig or a funeral were encountered, this was bad luck. The procession turned around, returned home, and started over again.

As the procession went to the church, the first person encountered was dubbed 'The First Foot'. As part of the celebration, the First Foot was given a coin and a drink of whiskey by the bride. In turn, the First Foot had to walk with the procession for one mile. He was then free to continue on his own way.

Learn more about other Scottish wedding ceremony customs.

Tomorrow, more details about the movie, 'Under the Lighthouse Dancing'…

March 27, 2008 13:57 - 'Under the Lighthouse Dancing'

In other blogs I've made reference to 'Under the Lighthouse Dancing'. Made in 1997, it's an Australian movie starring Jack Thompson and Jacqueline McKenzie.

It's a bittersweet love story, featuring an isolated beach house and three couples.
Many things about the movie show ideas which could be adapted for a Scottish theme wedding.

The wedding venue is a small church in the village. The reception is a very unique beach wedding theme. The gowns are non-traditional in style and color, but lovely.

The wedding blessing is an old, traditional one…


Deep peace of the running waves to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you,
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you

Tomorrow, an expanded version of the blessing…

March 28, 2008 12:28 - A Celtic Blessing of Peace

From yesterday's Celtic blessing, I found an expanded version. I don't which came first, but this one is also worth the read…and possible incorporation into your ceremony, program, or reception favors of your Scottish theme wedding.








Deep peace I breathe into you
Oh weariness here, O ache, here!
Deep peace, a soft white dove to you;
Deep peace, a quiet rain to you;
Deep peace, an ebbing wave to you!

Deep peace, red wind of the east from you;
Deep peace, gray wind of the west to you;
Deep peace, dark wind of the north from you;
Deep peace, blue wind of the south to you!

Deep peace, pure red of the flame to you;
Deep peace, pure white of the moon to you;
Deep peace, pure green of the grass to you;
Deep peace, pure brown of the living earth to you;
Deep peace, pure gray of the dew to you;
Deep peace, pure blue of the sky to you!

Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet Earth to you,
Deep peace of the sleeping stones to you,
Deep peace of the yellow shepherd to you,
Deep peace of the wandering shepherdess to you,
Deep peace of the Flock of Stars to You.

Deep Peace of the Son of Peace to You.
Deep peace, Deep Peace.




Coming Monday, April Highland Games and a week of Tartan Day information…

March 29, 2008 10:19 - Movies for Tartan Day

A week from tomorrow is National Tartan Day. It will be celebrated across the U.S., Canada, Scotland, Argentina, Australia, and New Zealand.

I've been taking notes and preparing my blogs for this week, all centered around Tartan Day. New York City, who likes to everything bigger and grander, has Tartan Week, beginning tomorrow with the Tartan Week 10k Run.

Since I became aware of Tartan Day, I've not lived close enough to any event to attend. The photos look like everyone's is celebrating and having a good time. Alas, someday. I'm moving back to Texas, between Austin and San Antonio. They both have Tartan Day events, so next year it's likely Ill get to go to a Tartan Day celebration.

In my research, I've read where some families have a private celebration at home. My husband's already in Texas, so I'll be alone. I've decided to just hunker down for the weekend and steep myself in movies about Scots and Scotland.

Among the movies I'm considering are ~

  • Tuck Everlasting ~ a fairy tale about a family of Scottish immigrants, around 1900 in Middle America. In an opening scene, Mrs. Tuck goes t town. The jacket she's wearing is worth looking at. It's green linen, close fitting, and has a short ruffle along the hemline.

    The jacket would be nice for a bride, a mother, a grandmother, a guest. The jacket could be sewn sleeveless as a weskit, or even topless as a bustier. Any way, by adding a tartan skirt, or even a matching skirt in a softer fabric and then a tartan sash, you could have a wonderful Scottish ensemble for a wedding.

    The 'modern' people are dressed in Edwardian/Victorian costumes. Winifred, the daughter, goes to town with her mother. The veil on her hat is big white polka dots.

    From October 16th to November 6th and again November 16th to the 29th, I blogged about different types of headdresses that could be used in your wedding ensemble.

    The veil on Winifred's hat would look nice on some of the styles.

  • Braveheart ~
    It will be nice to spend a few hours with William Wallace, remembering his honor, determination, and sacrifice.
    Read Wallace's speech from Braveheart, where he rides before the troops, with his face painted blue?

    David Ross, a reenactor I saw perform at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, has taken up the saga of William Wallace, becoming a foremost expert on Wallace. To mark the 700th anniversary of Wallace, David repeated Wallace's march from Scotland to London for his execution. In David's march, Wallace was finally given a funeral procession. Read more details at David's website

    Electric Scotland, has several articles about William Wallace.

    Meanwhile, back to the movie…

    I'm always on the look out for appropriate costumes that can serve as bridal attire. Murron's wedding dress is so simple in design, yet with the added embroidery and tucking, it becomes sumptuously elegant. With the veil and floral wreath - voilá! A beautiful bride!

    Princess Isabelle's wedding gown goes to the other end of the spectrum. Regal, opulent, yet tasteful. This is to be expected of the daughter of King Philip IV of France.

    All her gowns are worthy of note. As are those of Nicolette, her handmaiden. As they sit in the arcade, discussing William Wallace and his tragic bride, Nicolette's headdress is worth a second look, especially if you're considering a Medieval wedding gown. Notice how it's wrapped under the chin, then held in place under and over the tiara.

  • Rob Roy ~
    It's been years since I've watched the movie. The presence of Liam Neeson basically dwarfs everyone else, as it should be seeing he's playing Robert Roy MacGregor. I'm looking forward to getting re-acquainted with this movie. I'll be blogging on Rob and his wife in late April.

  • Instrument of War ~
    A trilogy about the fierce Highlanders and the bagpipes as an 'instrument of war'…from the time of William Wallace to the Texas Alamo, ancient clan battles to World War I. Part I is Ladies From Hell, Part II is Call To The Blood, Part III is When The Pipers Play. Charleston Heston and Tom Conti narrate, while Isla St.Clair sings for this BBC/PBS classic.

  • Breaker Morant ~
    Starring one of my favorite Australian actors, Jack Thompson, this is about three court-martialed Australian soldiers after the South African Boer War. I've not yet seen this one, but I'm told there are bagpipes played.

  • Brigadoon ~
    It's almost to silly to watch, but I love it anyhow. There are men in outlandish Highlander garb and bagpipes a playing…so the movie is redeemed.

I think that will fill the whole weekend. I'll be saturated in bagpipes, kilts, tartans, and Scottish brogues.

Click here for a more complete listing of movies with
bagpipes.


March 31, 2008 11:03 - April Highland Games

Seeing there are several events on April 1, the April Highland Games Schedule is being posted a day early.

If you want to hire a local bagpiper, see some samples of different tartans up close, view different interpretations of the various styles of kilts, learn more about your clan's history, hear some different ideas for music, eat a day-full of Scottish food, and see lots of Scottish traditions first hand ~ then a nice Highland Game is the way to go.

For more detailed information about the events listed, go to U.S. Scots and the Scottish Heritage Society.


For a good dose of the Highlands, here's the April schedule ~

  • March 2 to 4, Dallas, TX ~ North Texas Celtic Festival
  • April 1, Derry, New Hampshire ~ New Hampshire Indoor Highland Games
  • April 1, Madisonville, Louisiana ~ Swamp Celts Festival & Games
  • April 1, Bakersfield, California ~ Kern County Scottish Society Games
  • April 1, Cincinnati, Ohio ~ Tartan Day Ceilidh
  • April 1, Livonia, Michigan ~ Tartan Day
  • April 1, Cincinnati, Ohio ~ Tartan Day
  • April 1, Boston, Massachusetts ~ Manchester Indoor Highland Games
  • April 1, Paris, France ~ Paris Tartan Day
  • April 4, Fremont, California ~ Fremont Tartan Day
  • April 4, Tidwater, Virginia ~ Tidewater Tartan Day
  • April 6, New York, New York ~ New York Tartan Day/Week
  • April 6 to 7, Bundanoon Oval, New South Wales, Australia ~ MacLean Highland Gathering
  • April 6 to 7, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia ~ The Australian Federation Tattoo
  • April 6 to 8, Minneapolis, Minnesota ~ Minnesota Tartan Day
  • April 8, Puyallup, Washington ~ Washington State Tartan Day
  • April 8, Chesterfield, Virginia ~ Chesterfield Celtic Heritage Festival
  • April 8, Columbia, South Carolina ~ Tartan Fest
  • April 14, Salem, Oregon ~ Oregon Scottish Heritage Festival
  • April 14 to 15, Odessa, Texas ~ CeltFest Texas
  • April 15 to 16, Mile End, South Australia, Australia ~ Champion of Champions Highland Dancing Competition
  • April 20 to 22, Charlotte, North Carolina ~ Loch Norman Highland Games
  • April 21 to 22, Las Vegas, Nevada ~ Las Vegas Highland Games
  • April 21 to 23, Batesville, Arkansas ~ Arkansas Scottish Festival
  • April 22 to 23, Kilgore, Texas ~ Texas Celtic Heritage Festival
  • April 28, St Leonard, Maryland ~ Southern Maryland Celtic Festival
  • April 28 to 30, St Louis, Missouri ~ Arcadia Valley Celtic Festival
  • April 28 to 29, Sacramento, California ~ Sacramento Valley Scottish Games
  • April 29 to 30, Macon, Georgia ~ Culloden Games
  • April 29 to 30, Pelham, Alabama ~ Oak Mountain Highland Games & Scottish Gathering
  • April 30 to May 1, Salem Oregon ~ Historic Bhealltain Festival

Beltane (Bhealltain) is observed by Celts, Neopagans and Wiccans in various forms and by a variety of names. Some Beltane Festivals simply celebrate the beginning of summer, others have deeper meanings. If you prefer to not participate in those with deeper meanings, you can access the individual event webpages at the U.S. Scots and the Scottish Heritage Society as listed above.


February 2008 «  » April 2008

 

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