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  • 5 Top Reasons to Wear a Kilt to Your Wedding

    5 Top Reasons to Wear a Kilt to Your Wedding

    What better way to have a fabulous wedding than to wear a kilt, the national dress of Scotland? After all, kilts have deep cultural and historical roots. This form of dress expresses a true form of patriotism and shows your honor as a true Scotsman.

    The kilt definitely represents:

    • Patriotism
    • Honor
    • Pride
    • Clan affiliation
    • Culture

    Did you know that the Scottish kilt originated in the 16th century? At that time, a kilt was a full length garment worn by Highlanders in northern Scotland. The knee-length kilt developed in the early 18th century.

    If you’re not already convinced, here are some very compelling reasons why you should strongly consider a kilt at your wedding.

    Heritage Dress
    The kilt represents a form of heritage dress and is a way for you to proudly regard your Scottish heritage. For men in Scotland, the kilt represents a group they belong to, such as a military regiment, pipe band or other group. Indeed, the kilt has traditionally been worn as a military uniform for centuries. What better way to proudly display your Scottish ethnicity? Many Scottish men choose to wear the Scottish national dress at formal ceremonies like weddings for this reason.

    Beginning in the 19th century, Scottish kilts were only worn on special occasions as a form of ceremonial dress. In America, the practice continues as a way of recognizing and paying tribute to Scottish heritage.

    Bringing Generations Together
    You might be new to wearing the kilt. Other men in your family may have worn the kilt for decades. These days, most people only wear kilts on special occasions, so why not make your wedding one of them? After all, it will be so special for you to have that family picture with:

    • Grandfather
    • Dad
    • Groom
    • Sons
    • Brothers

    Clan Tartans
    At a wedding, it is most customary to wear your clan tartan. This is a way for every generation participating in the wedding to honor their Scottish ancestors. For many, the kilt is a garment of rich cultural significance and is associated with much national and family history. Therefore, the kilt is treated with distinction and generally only worn at formal affairs like weddings.

    Without a doubt, clan tartans have become one of the most important symbols of Scottish heritage. A tartan is made of wool, and has different colors to represent different clans. Colors and patterns (called setts) are changed to create a unique pattern for each clan.

    For centuries, Celts have worn tartans; the practice dates back to the 5th century BC.
    You’ll probably recognize a few of these famous clan tartans:

    • Fraser
    • Ferguson
    • MacLean
    • Campbell
    • Black Watch

    In all, there are more than 200 tartans, and we can definitely help you find your perfect match. After Britain defeated Scotland at the Battle of Culloden, there was a ban on wearing clan tartans. When the laws were repealed in the late 1700s, Scotland had a resurgence of national pride in wearing the tartan. Wearing the tartan definitely restored spirit and culture. That pride continues today.

    Theme Wedding
    You may not even be Scottish, but many couples these days are having theme weddings, so you may wear the kilt as a costume. Many people wish they were Scottish; they’ve fallen in love with the romance and beauty of the Scottish Highlands. Wearing a kilt is certainly fun and different, and will definitely make your wedding an event that people remember.

    Did you know that Queen Victoria greatly helped add to the romantic nature of the kilt? She and Prince Albert fell in love with Balmoral Castle, the royal residence in Scotland near Deeside. They loved everything about Scotland, including tartans, and admired the noble Highlander chiefs. The royal couple even designed their own Balmoral tartan. Room after room in the castle had tartan accents. That tradition continues today with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, both of whom have a special place in their hearts for Balmoral.

    We Have A Kilt For Every Need
    These days, most people don’t want to invest in the purchase of a kilt because they simply don’t wear them too many times. That’s why it is a great idea to rent from us. We offer every kilt from informal to formal, and can provide your clan tartan, too. This is a great, inexpensive option for your wedding. You can select from a variety of rental items from our wide selection. The options you choose are completely up to you. We want you to have an enjoyable experience, and we love being a small part of creating a lasting memory that you will cherish for a lifetime.

  • 10 Interesting Facts About Roberts Burns

    1. ROBERT BURNS NEARLY LEFT SCOTLAND TO BECOME A BOOKKEEPER ON A JAMAICAN SLAVE PLANTATION

    Robert Burns Jamaican Bookkeeper

    Before literary success, Robert Burns was offered a job in Jamaica on a slave plantation as a bookkeeper. Fate intervened as Burns became a literary sensation and he moved to Edinburgh and became an anti-slavery advocate instead.It’s a good thing he never went to Jamaica - Who knows WHAT song we’d be ringing in the New Year with! The Macarena?

    2. BURNS MAY HAVE WRITTEN THE MOST FAMOUS SONG IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

    Robert burns wrote famous New Years song Auld Lang Syne

    Robert Burns wrote the lyrics to what is considered to be one of the most popular songs in the English Language: Auld Lang Syne - the New Years Song! The Guinness Book of World Records says that the song shares a league with “Happy Birthday” and “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” in universal popularity. The song has appeared in over 170 Hollywood films including “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “When Harry Met Sally.” This qualifies Burns as an authentic 18 th Century rock star!

    3. LIKE MOST ROCK STARS, ROBERT BURNS HAD HIS SHORT COMINGS

    Robert Burns 18th century rock star, sunglasses guitar and flames

    Robert Burns was the eldest of seven boys. Their dad had high hopes for his children’s morals and even wrote them a pamphlet on the virtues of Christianity called "A Manual of Christian Belief." Despite this, Burns came to be known for his (cough cough) “ festive” lifestyle. His first child was conceived with his mother’s servant. Later in life, after experiencing many women, he married & started a family with his wife Jean who bore him 9 children. It's been said that there were 2 more children somewhere in between with 2 other women. Burns died at the early age of 37 due to rheumatic fever which was definitely exasperated by his rowdy lifestyle. Poetically, his youngest child was born during his funeral procession. Take that, Keith Richards!

    4. BOB DYLAN SITES ROBERT BURNS AS HIS GREATEST INFLUENCE!

    Robert Burns’ influence transcends national borders and generations. Bob Dylan sited Rabbie as his single greatest influence. The revelation was discovered during the HMV “My Inspiration” campaign during which several musicians were asked to reveal the verse from a song that they had been most inspired by. Dylan quoted a line from Burns’ poem “A Red, Red Rose.”

    5. MICHAEL JACKSON WAS SUCH A FAN OF BURNS THAT HE WROTE A MUSICAL ABOUT HIM!

    Michael Jackson, MJ, wrote Robert Burns Musical, said Rabbie was huge influence

    Stretching into the pinnacle of pop culture, Michael Jackson was keen on Burns’ influence in his work. Michael Jackson’s music video "Thriller" is said to have been based on Burns’ poem "Tam O’Shanter." Michael Jackson and Hollywood producer David Gest even wrote a musical about the life of Robert Burns! Although it was shelved more than twenty years ago, the musical came back to life in January 2015 and even made it to Broadway. Jackson had no role in the final production but is paid homage to and referenced throughout.

    6. FAMOUS AUTHORS HAVE USED PHRASES OR CONCEPTS FROM BURNS’ POEMS AS THE TITLES OF THEIR OWN FAMOUS WORKS

    Robert Burns influenced JD Salinger

    JD Salinger took fame for the Burns-inspired title for his most famous work, “The Catcher in the Rye,” from Burns’ poem “Comin’ Thro’ the Rye.” Also, John Steinbeck’s book “Of Mice and Men” was named from a line in Burns’ piece, “To a Mouse.”

    7. TOMMY HILFIGER IS THE GREAT-GREAT-GRAND-NEPHEW OF ROBERT BURNS

    Tommy Hilfiger was Robert Burns distant nephew

    Tommy Hilfiger didn’t discover the identity of his long lost uncle until his twenties. When asked about his distant relationship, Hilfiger told Vogue magazine, “It was never discussed in my house because it was said that Robert Burns was a womanizer and a boozer. They were embarrassed he was related, so we weren’t told.”

    8. THERE IS A CREEPY LIFE-SIZE HEAD OF ROBERT BURNS THAT CAME STRAIGHT FROM YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE

    3D head of Robert Burns, uncanny valley

    In a documentary about Rabbie, forensic scientist Professor Caroline Wilkinson revealed a life-size model of the poet’s head. They made this disturbing replica using casts of Burns’ skull and contemporary portraits. If you’re brave enough, you can see the photo here: (We wouldn’t recommend it.) The head even has real side burns!

    9. THE IMAGE OF BURNS’ FACE CAN BE FOUND IN A LOT OF PLACES, FROM COKE BOTTLES TO MONEY!

    Robert Burns 250th birthday anniversary coke bottle

    Robert Burns is the first person ever to have his face on a commemorative bottle of Coke in 2005 to celebrate his 250 thbirthday! Also, his face is now on Scottish money, even though much of Burns’ poetry is about defending the poor! Oh, poetic irony!

    10. THIS GUY HAS GOT SOME STATUES!

    Robert Burns Statue Bernar Street, leith, ScotlandRobert Burns central park, New york statueRobert Burns statue, Dumfries town centre, Scotland

    There are more statues dedicated to Robert Burns than any other non-religious figure in the world after Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus. You can see this guy in Glasgow, Melbourne, and even in St. Louis. There is even a statue of Robert Burns in Central Park in New York where his is depicted holding a copy of the poem “Mary.”

    Sources:

    http://www.centralparknyc.org/things-to-see-and-do/attractions/robert-burns.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

    http://www.scotland.org/features/robert-burns-and-slavery/

    http://news.stv.tv/west-central/211023-robert-burns-face-revealed-in-3d-model-created-by-forensic-experts/

    http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2012/03/12/tommy-hilfiger-discusses-robert-burns-family-link

    http://www.robertburnsthemusical.co.uk/events/

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/3141308/Bob-Dylan-inspired-by-Scottish-poet-Robert-Burns.html

  • 7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Scottish Clans

    The word clan comes from the Gaelic “clann”, meaning children. Despite this literal translation, clan members were not all biologically related. A Scottish clan can be better thought of as many small, tight knit families living closely in community, usually under a chief. Although familial associations exist, old Scottish clans were more like a village of many families than a single biological family, although usually one biological family could be found at the center of the clan.

    As Sir Walter Scott and other authors of the 18th Century romanticized old Scottish culture, myths and misconceptions regarding the clans of the highlands abounded. It was during this time that the public began to equate surname with clan. This led to the widespread belief that all clansmen were members of the same lineage, directly descending from the original clan chief, which simply isn’t true. Although in modern times there is an official clan registry and structural system recognized by the Court of the Lord Lyon, the old clans were much less structured. The Scottish clans which became prominent by at least the 12th Century were bound by the land upon which they lived, the chief whom they served and a willingness to fight on behalf of the clan. Here are some facts that you might not have known about Scottish clans.

    1 -  NOT ALL CLANS HAVE A CHIEF

    Some clans don’t have a chief. These are referred to as Armigerous clans. These clans may have had a chief at one time and are registered with the court of Lyons but do not currently have a chief. Some clans, referred to as septs, were dependent clans who acknowledged another clan as chief. Usually a sept would come under another clan’s chief for sustenance and protection. This nearly always was a result of the proximity of one clan to a more powerful one. Sept groups either kept their surname while pledging their allegiance to the chief of the larger clan, or took on the clan name.

    2 - THE CONCEPT OF TARTAN REPRESENTING CLAN IS RELATIVELY NEW (Thank Queen Victoria)

    As the romanticizing of Scotland was perpetuated by Sir Walter Scott and others in the 18th Century, tartan came to be thought of as a plaid representing a specific clan. Although It’s true that highlanders wore different colors and patterns, historically this was usually a result of the available materials in that area as well as local trends. Tartan was often made of simple blocks with 2 colors in a checkered pattern. After the Dress Act was withdrawn, a flurry of interest in all things Scottish brought about this sentimental interpretation of the highland dress from the previous decade. “Bamoralism”, or the popularization of Scottish culture and fashion in English society, is a direct result of Queen Victoria’s obsession with all things Scottish in the late 1800’s.

    3- THE IDEA THAT CLANS WERE EXCLUSIVE TO THE HIGHLANDS IS A CONSTRUCTION OF VICTORIAN-ERA ROMANTICISM OF SCOTTISH CULTURE

    Clans weren’t only in the highlands. The common misconception that Scottish clans were exclusively from the Highlands is another construct of the romanticizing of Scottish culture in the Victorian era.

    4 - THE INFAMOUS “RED WEDDING” EPISODE OF GAME OF THRONES IS BASED ON THE SLAUGHTER OF THE MACDONALD CLAN FOR BEING A FEW DAYS LATE IN SWEARING ALLEGIANCE TO KING WILLIAM.

    In the Game of Thrones episode entitled “The Red Wedding”, the Stark family and most of their soldiers are slaughtered at the wedding feast of Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey in a total betrayal. R.R. Martin, creator of the show, says that the episode was inspired by the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692, during which soldiers led by Captain Robert Campbell asked the MacDonalds for shelter for him and his men due to a full nearby fort. The MacDonalds obliged, having them for nearly two weeks before being slaughtered. The soldiers said goodnight to the MacDonalds after playing cards and then slaughtered as many as they could. It was said to be especially barbarous because it was a “Slaughter under trust”

    5 - THE CLAN SYSTEM LIKELY OUT-DATES THE WORD “CLANN” (GAELIC FROM WHICH CLAN IS DERIVED)

    The clan system of Scotland not only out-dates the word from which the English is derived, but Scotland itself. Scotland was born in 843AD, but before this time, groups of settlers from the mysterious Picts of the North to the Saxons in the Southwest were forming groups encompassing more than a single biological family. This makes it especially difficult to pinpoint the beginning of the clan system, but clans were in existence by at least the 1100’s, shortly after the birth of Scotland itself. It was during the 12 th Century that scholars all agree the Scottish clan system as we think of it was in full swing.

    6 - CLAN CAMPBELL HATED THE MACGREGORS SO MUCH, THEY BRED A SPECIAL DOG TO HUNT THEM

    In addition to publicly beheading MacGregors for entertainment while eating dinner, the Campbell clan burned with a special hatred for clan MacGregor. The Campbell’s even bred a special dog, nursed by suckling women from the MacGregor clan , to hunt and kill MacGregor clan members more effectively. The Campbells believed that by nursing from a MacGregor woman from birth, these dogs would be able to pick up on the MacGregor scent more efficiently. Now that's a BAD DOG.

     

    7 - THE FIRST PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA WAS A MACDONALD....AND THE SECOND WAS A MACKENZIE

    The influence of Scottish clans extends far out into the world. There are as many MacDonalds living in North America as there are living in Scotland. Canada was heavily influenced by Scottish culture from the very beginning. From Mackenzie Bay in Yukon to Nova Scotia which literally means "New Scotland" in Latin, the power and character of the clans of Scotland can't be contained. The culture and history are just too rich.

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