Learning About Scottish Culture

Kilt And Tartan

One of the most recognizable symbols of Scottish culture is the kilt, a knee-length skirt worn by men. It is traditionally paired with a sporran (a type of pouch worn on the front of the kilt) and jacket or sweater.

Tartan is patterned cloth consisting of crisscrossed horizontal and vertical bands in different colors and widths. Each tartan is associated with a specific Scottish clan, and the choice of a particular pattern can reveal one’s heritage or affiliations.


A ceilidh (pronounced kay-lee) is an informal social gathering at which there is Scottish folk music, singing, dancing and storytelling. It can also refer to a dinner party or a concert of the same genre, especially in the Highlands.

Today, ceilidhs are most often private events organised for weddings, birthday parties, fundraisers and other celebratory occasions. They usually feature a band, with members choosing between fiddles, guitars and accordions as their instrument of choice. Novice dancers are welcome, with dance callers demonstrating the steps before the music begins.


There is no better way to experience Scottish culture than to attend one of the country’s many annual festivals. From Highland games to bagpiping competitions and ringing in the New Year, there’s something for everyone to get involved with.

The Scottish people have always held a high respect for diversity and inclusivity. Their tumultuous history has helped them develop a unique sense of national pride and identity, and this is reflected in their traditions, celebrations, myths and folklore.