June 2017 (Vol. 40, Number 12)
The Banner Says…
Scottish heritage-Connecting the past with today
Looking at some of the content we have in this issue one can’t help but be amazed at how the Scottish community across the world is today constantly celebrating and showcasing Scottish culture and heritage.
Tartan Day Parade
Tartan Day was celebrated across North America in April (with Tartan Day celebrations soon coming up in the Southern Hemisphere) and is growing in popularity each year. Recently, in New York, it was the annual Tartan Day Parade which is featured in this issue. When you are thinking of New York, a city that never sleeps, it can be hard to stand out from the massive crowds. However, closing down Sixth Avenue with 3000 pipers, drummers and marchers, suddenly the Big Apple stops and takes in all the spectacle, sound and colour that comes with celebrating Scotland and Scottish culture to the world. This parade is an example of how keeping Scotland relevant in our modern world can be done successfully while helping to create a broader interest in Scotland as a destination, product and dynamic culture.
Return to the Ridings
In the glorious Scottish Borders this month the Return to the Ridings will see several towns come alive with colour, pageantry and tradition going back hundreds of years to a time when the Scottish border lands were not the peaceful and gentle place they are today. Pageantry and horses will bring out locals and visitors from across the world to take part in this ancient festival which is a highlight in the Border calendar.. This great sense of community spirit comes alive with history and celebration of tradition. The Return to the Ridings is enjoyed by young and old and thankfully this tradition is one that is alive and well and considered one of Europe’s most unique events.
In the Northern Hemisphere bagpipes will start sounding that bit louder and tartan will brightly light up the already lovely early summer days at Highland games. Across North America and Scotland, the Highland games season is now underway with events in towns, cities and even at the top of mountains. Many Scottish Banner readers will be attending these events as spectators, band members, dancers, athletes, with their Clan or society or even vendors.
The various aspects of the Scottish community will come together and proudly display the culture of Scotland to thousands of spectators, both those who are of Scottish heritage and those that simply wish they were… Each of the groups help make these events what they are and you can simply look at our events page to see there are things happening all over the world for everyone to enjoy and take part in.
Scotland also highlights its very own unique culture right at home as the Highland games season has also begun there and will run to September across the country. Visitors to Scotland over the next few months can enjoy these great traditional events in addition to other great festivals highlighting Scottish culture.
Events such as the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo will be of interest to many this year with the Clans gathering to make a Splash of Tartan, whilst the World Pipe Band Championships and PipingLive! will see Glasgow come alive with the sounds of the pipes in August.
Our Southern Hemisphere readers have events taking place year round to enjoy and winter is no exception. From cosy winter nights with fellow Scots at a range of events, Tartan Day next month, to the events in places such as Queensland taking place after the summer heat. There is much to enjoy.
Few countries have this form of global promotion with thousands of ambassadors who devote their time and energy to celebrating and keeping traditions, not only alive, but at the forefront of cultural calendars across the world.
Regardless if someone is a Scot, or not, just about everyone loves Scotland and her people and the country is simply easy to attach yourself to. We have had several regular readers of the Scottish Banner who do not have an ounce of Scottish blood but love the country and culture so much that they feel they do own their own personal piece of Scotland, and that is of course what it shares so well with the world.
New passion for Scotland
The way Scotland is celebrated has evolved over time and a new generation of Scots is developing Scottish heritage today. Young pipers and dancers for example are learning their notes and practicing tirelessly so that when you are at one of the Scottish events and see them perform, the new passion for Scotland is evident with each tune played or step performed in each new generation, and it is a passion they were born to have.
Today there are many ways to connect with Scotland’s heritage. From visiting Scotland itself, joining your local club, pipe band or Clan, engaging with an online Scottish community or attending Scottish events.
It is also heart-warming for us that you are a reader of the Scottish Banner, helping us spread the word of what this dynamic, ancient yet modern nation and culture are doing. We are also excited to now offer our readers a choice on how they can read the Scottish Banner, with both print and digital subscription options. Allowing you to connect with Scotland in the way you prefer. Have a wonderful month ahead.
How do you connect with Scotland’s heritage? Tell us your story and share with us your views by email, post or at www.scottishbanner.com/contact-us
To see how you can connect with your Scottish heritage at: www.scottishbanner.com/events