Sunday, December 4, 2016

Whit's a Ceilidh then? Why Dinnae Ye Ken?

A ceilidh (prounounced kay-lee for those who are wondering) in Scottish Gaelic means a visit, but over the generations the word has transformed to mean a gathering where music, dancing and often eating takes place. The Finnish Scottish Society which has recently been formed to promote Scottish culture in Finland had its innaugural event last night in Helsinki - a St Andrew's Day Ceilidh and the Clan went along. St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, his day is November 30 and it is often used to celebrate all things Scottish. 

The day started with a family event with a bake sale full of Scottish treats, face painting, Christmas cake decorations and children's stories in Scots. It was a nice way for families to meet up before the craziness of the ceilidh later on.

The Chief started the story time with a reading of The Gruffalo in Scots which was a good giggle. They had another FSS member to read to all the kids later on so this was just a taster. 
My contribution to the bake sale. Remind me I never want to make tablet again, it turned out to be a bit of a palaver and I'm still finding burnt sugar all over my kitchen.
Pudding's Christmas cake. She loved eating the frosting and sprinkles. There was a craft table as well.  

After the day event we dropped the Weans off with a babysitter and put on our gladrags for a smashing evening. The Chief had invited some of his workmates from Romania and Poland so we got to introduce them to some traditional Scottish dancing. 

The Ceilidh was sold out so it was a tight squeeze to dance in the hall, but the Society got a great dance caller James who broke us up into groups and taught everyone the steps. We did some old favourites: The Dashing White Sergent, The Gay Gordons and the complicated-until-it-all-clicks Strip the Willow. A wee burl was had.

There were two bands: a ceilidh band whoes name I missed and a rock band that covered some Scottish hits called Poverty Bar. Having a real ceilidh band really made the dancing so much more fun. The night ended with Poverty Bar's take on the traditonal Runrig's version of 'Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond' and 'Auld Lang Syne'.

Some of the Society members cooked up Haggis, Neeps and Tattie pie for the day event and Stovies, a vegetarian leek soup and cranachan during the ceilidh and even some late night snacks for after the dancing. It was some top scran. 
Dishing out the stovies and soup.
The Society was established just at the end of this year, so they will be properly starting in 2017 by asking for membership fees and will be hosting a Burns Supper some time in January/February. The group is open to anyone interested in Scottish culture. If you would like to become a member of the Finnish Scottish Society, please, join the Facebook page linked above and they will contact you soon.

There is also the Scots in Finland Facebook page which is a good place to be kept up to date with all events Scottish in Finland. 


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