Tartan, Scottie dogs, and Highland traditions have been Christmas favorites - maybe for you!
Christmas was often known as Nollaig Beag, or Little Christmas. It was a solemn celebration of the the birth of Christ, which was then followed by merriment of celebrations that go through New Year's and Twelfth Night.
Fom tartan bows on the tree to 'SCOTTISH BLACK BUN' cake, there are a number of customs from 'Old Scotland' prior to the Reformation. Juniper and mistletoe decorated the homes of the Highlanders, symbols of love.
Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend:
Text “ALXEVENTS” to 888777 to receive event updates.
schedule of past events included Heather and Greens Sales,Children's Tea Party, The Scottish Christmas Walk Parade.
One custom that is common here in the United sates is like that of Scotlands the Oidche Choinnle, or Night of Candles. Candles were placed in every window to give hospitable light to travelers ... now we see this as a common decoration, usually lighting each window with elctric replicas- but it originally was practice throughout Celtic countries.
Christmas or Christmas Eve Dinner
Food fare: mince meat pies are favored as well as bridies, meat pies or pasties. The Welsh are famous for bringing their pasties to the Michigan area. The Wassail bowl is found here, but with a Scottish twist: Scotch finds its way into the bowl. Because oatmeal is so traditional a food here...why not try a baked oatmeal for breakfast- it is not your usual mornign porridge and might just change your entire opinion of just how delicious oatmeal can be! Find more items listed at the bottom of this page.
Baked Oatmeal Recipe:
2-1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1/4 cup oat bran
1/4 cup steel-cut oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups milk
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup applesauce
1/4 cup cooking oil
2 cups fresh fruit [blueberries; chopped strawberries; peaches; apples or pears -cored; peeled and chopped; 4 ripe mashed bananas; cranberries or 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or figs).]
Plain or vanilla yogurt, milk or cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease 2-quart souffle dish.
In large bowl, combine first 8 ingredients*** and mix with a wire whisk; set aside. In medium bowl, combine next 4 ingredients. Add to oat mixture and stir until just combined.
Place mixture into baking dish. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from oven to stir mixture and gently fold in fruit. Bake, uncovered, for another 20 minutes more or until top is lightly browned.
Spoon into bowls. Serve with yogurt, milk or cream. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
timesaver:combine dry ingredients the night before.
A Number of Christmas Customs
Everywhere you look for ideas on celebrating Christmas in Scottish tradition you find they didn't have much of a tradition..for centuries! As mentioned before, one common to the Celtic cultures was lighting a candle at Christmastime to light the way of a stranger. Putting a candle in the window nowadays might be easier with the beautiful battery powered brass ones.
Black Bun. AKA Twelfth Night Cake
A very rich fruit cake which included almonds, spices and with plenty of Whisky.
The Yule Log
An old tradition is to have a large (large as possible for the fireplace) Birch log, that is not split. Ceremonially brought inside by the men in the family, oldest to youngest... then onto the kitchen where they go 'round it three times.
Then head of the household raises a toast: “Joy, Joy. May God shower joy upon us, my dear _ (people in the family house). Christmas brings us all good things. God give us grace to see the New Year; and if we do not increase in numbers may we at all events not decrease.”
The log is then placed into the fire.
Christmas Eve Dishes
You wish for a traditional Scots Christmas Eve feast? Try these dishes:
mince meat pies
fresh oatmeal bread
Cock O Leekie soup
For a main course, Today's Scots have lots to choose from:
- Roast Turkey
- Glazed Ham
- Roast Leg of Lamb
So if you borrow a bit of this and a bit of that, you can come up with your own Scot flavored holiday. In Scandinavian countries they have loads of little national flags on their trees and candles brightening their interiors, along with a feast of traditional foods, some of this could be historically borrowed for a Scottish Christmas, using tartans with the bright yule colors of green and red which are common for some of the clans.