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Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. Its strength springs in part from the diverse strands that make up its background, including European mainstream cultures. Daily life and social customs Although bagpipes have ancient origins elsewhere and are found throughout the world, they are one of the most recognized symbols of Scottish culture.
By the 16th century, various clans had established hereditary pipers, and later the instrument was used in wartime to inflame the passions of soldiers in battle. The modern kilt, with its tartan pattern, became common in the 18th century and served an important role in the formation of a Scottish national identity.
Knits from Fair Isle, with their distinctive designs woven from the fine wool of Shetland sheep, are also world famous. One traditional local custom is the ceilidh visita social occasion that includes music and storytelling.
Once common throughout the country, the ceilidh is now a largely rural institution. Sports such as tossing the caber a heavy pole and the hammer throw are integral to the Highland gamesa spectacle that originated in the 19th century; the games are accompanied by pipe bands and usually solo performances by Highland dancers.
Scottish country dancing, however, is a pastime whose popularity has spread far beyond Scotland. In addition to haggis, Scotland is known for its Angus beef, porridge, stovies a potato-rich stewshortbreads, scones, cheese Bishop, Kennedy, Caboc, Lanark Bluetoffee, and game dishes e.
Indeed, throughout Scotland private distilleries proliferated in the 17th century, which led the Scottish Parliament to impose a tax on whisky production in The arts Scottish writers have the choice of three languages—English, Scots, and Gaelic.
A poet whose songs were written in the Scottish dialect of English, Burns aroused great passion among his audience and gained a legion of dedicated followers. Hugh MacDiarmida nationalist and Marxist, gained an international reputation for his Scots poetry in the first half of the 20th century, and others, such as Robert Garioch and Edwin Muirfollowed his lead.
Alexander McCall Smithwho moved to Edinburgh, was made famous by his detective stories set in Botswana. Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery, London Painting and sculpture flourish and are displayed in numerous galleries and official exhibitions.
In the late 20th century there was a popular revival of 19th-century designer and architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Scots have also made their mark in motion pictures. Glaswegian stand-up comedian and actor Billy Connolly was a major force in British entertainment since the s.
Director Bill Forsyth first gained international acclaim in the s, and his film Local Hero prompted a wave of tourism to the western islands.
Scottish filmmaking also enjoyed a renaissance after the success of Braveheartan American production that chronicles Scottish battles with the English in the 13th century and that helped rekindle nationalist aspirations. Other films, such as TrainspottingOrphansYoung Adamand Red Roadenjoyed wide success, and Scottish films now figure in many international festivals.
Scotland has a wealth of surviving traditional music, ranging from the work songs of the Hebrides to the ballads of the northeast. There has also been renewed interest in such traditional instruments as the bagpipe, fiddle, and clarsach the small Celtic harp.
Scotland has also had a long presence in popular musicwith artists such as Lonnie Donegana pioneer of prerock skiffle music, singer-songwriter Donovanthe Incredible String Band, and the Eurythmics.
Whereas many Scots had to leave the country to find success, vibrant local scenes in Glasgow and Edinburgh in the s gave rise to such popular groups as Simple Minds and the Jesus and Mary Chain and later to Teenage Fanclub, Travis, Belle and Sebastian, and Snow Patrol.
All aspects of traditional culture are researched, archived, and taught in the Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies of the University of Edinburgh. Edinburgh and Glasgow are the cultural capitals of Scotland. Among the cultural institutions achieving high international standing are the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Opera, and the Scottish Ballet, all based in Glasgow.
Sports and recreation Sports are an important part of life in Scotland. Association football soccer has a wide following and is dominated by the Rangers and Celtic clubs of Glasgow. Rugby football is played especially by private schools and by their former pupils, but in the towns of the Scottish Borders it draws players and spectators from a wider social range.
Shintya hockeylike game, is popular in the Highlands. Curling is another traditional sport, although temperatures are seldom low enough for it to be other than an indoor activity played on man-made ice.
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