An Evening in Stirling: Ceilidh, Kilts and Haggis

Melissa Thompson University of Aberdeen, Scotland


March 22, 2016
“I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world”  - Mary Anne Radmacher

These past two weeks have been busy filled with research and writing essays, but I got a nice break from it all for a bit with a ceilidh that was hosted by Arcadia in Stirling last week. I took the train there which was about a two hour ride from Aberdeen. Looking out the window at the scenery was stunning and what made it especially amazing was the gorgeous setting sun with not a cloud in the sky.

So what exactly is a ceilidh? A ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) is a gathering filled with traditional Scottish dancing, music and food. The word ‘ceilidh’ is actually Gaelic and translates to ‘a visit’ and is basically a social gathering. It was such a great way to really get first-hand experience and insight into the traditional Scottish way of life.

The ceilidh was held at the Stirling Hotel which was a wonder in itself-so stunning! First we had a wonderful dinner where there was haggis (of course) along with a variety of other foods. I’ve actually grown to really like haggis. After dinner, we were led out of the dining hall and into the dancehall by a bagpiper. In the dancehall there was a Scottish band and dancers dressed in traditional Scottish kilts who first showed us all the dances before having us try for ourselves. It was so amazing to watch the Scottish dancers who were so great at all of the dances! Trying the dances for myself was an interesting experience since some of it could actually be a bit complicated, but after a while it wasn’t too bad. I’m not much of a dancer, but I still had a wonderful time and would definitely recommend going to a ceilidh to anyone visiting Scotland. Besides dancing the night away, we also learned interesting insight including background information behind the kilt and how to properly put on a kilt.

Overall, the ceilidh was not only a great way to take a break from writing essays and studying, but it also gave me a wonderful opportunity to be a part of such a fantastic Scottish tradition.


Scotland Semester