Scottish Customs

Scottish Customs

Scottish Customs

Scottish Customs

Synopsis

"Customs can be well-known or obscure, old or new, yet all play an important part in society and provide fascinating insights into our history and culture. In this new and expanded edition of Scottish Customs, Sheila Livingstone traces the origins of a wide-ranging selection of customs associated with topics such as birth and death, childhood and courtship, health and illness and food and drink. Extracts from classic works of Scottish literature are used throughout to illustrate the customs discussed and there is also a useful glossary of Scots words." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

An act becomes a custom when it is carried out regularly on the appropriate occasion until by force of habit people adopt it. the original meaning or reason for the act may have become obscured yet the act itself is perpetuated and it is considered bad manners for people not to behave in the expected way. Customs arise as a mark of respect, an aversion of ill-luck and as a bringer of good luck and success. Some may be exclusive to one area while others are found nationally and internationally in one form or another.

Many customs are used as part of ritual. Some form part of ceremonies considered rites of passage - birth, marriage, death while others are essential items in festivals often held annually, at specific times, as they have been for centuries. Customs can be old or fairly new. Their origin can be buried in tradition or can spring spontaneously from modern behaviour to take their place in common ritual. the Mexican Wave is now regularly seen at sporting events. It is a mystery who starts this movement and how everyone else responds. in the same way the laying of flowers at the spot where an accident or death had occurred is becoming common. This custom is taken further in Europe where roadside shrines are built in memoriam with flowers constantly replaced.

Many customs can be traced back to the Druids. the natural world teemed with life: animals, stones, plants, rivers and wells were endowed with feelings which mankind had to . . .

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