Here’s how to have a totally Scottish Christmas
In Glasgow, you go hard, or go home.
And as the same rules apply to the entire bonnie nation of Scotland, you’re always promised a proper festive party. In fact, a Scottish Christmas is the only Christmas that’s guaranteed to be more jumpin’ than this year’s John Lewis ad.
But while the revered Scots are renowned for their superior Hogmanay celebrations, you might be surprised to learn that Christmas was actually banned above the borders for more than 400 years.
“What?!” We hear you cry… Well that’s right my friends. In the 1600s, the Church of Scotland discouraged the Yuletide tradition because of its Pagan roots. Amazingly, this dour, joy-crushing attitude prevailed, and Christmas didn’t become a public holiday until 1958. In Cuba, it wasn’t until 1998!
Since then, as you can imagine, Scots have been merrily making up for lost time. Here’s how you can join ‘em, and have yourself a totally Scottish Christmas.
Stuff yoursel’ silly with shortbread
It’s true that the little tartan tin is a household staple in Scotland – especially at Christmas time. Anyone in England lives in bitter disappointment, opening it only to find a mumsy stash of staples, safety pins, needles and thread… While the Scots are greeted by mountains of golden, biscuit-y goodness. It’s true, at a Scottish Christmas you really do get to enjoy sugar-laden shortbread on the reg.
Make Boxing Day a biggen’
If you were shocked about the Christmas ban, it might be best to sit down for this one. Although Christmas secured a space on the calendar in the 50s, Scots weren’t afforded the luxury of sleeping off their hangovers for another 16 years. That’s right folks, it was straight back to work in the AM, as Boxing Day didn’t become a public holiday until 1974. Which probably explains why, now, Boxing Day is the biggest, busiest, booziest day of the lot.
Load up on ‘neeps and tatties
If you’re doing Christmas dinner Scots-style, you gotta get it right. Traditional fare of haggis (very tasty, surprisingly) neeps (turnips, surprisingly) and tatties (potatoes, not so surprisingly) are naturally on the menu, alongside Highland venison and a rich, aromatic game stew. Much like Cuba’s traditional booze-soaked rum cakes, many families also bake a Black Bun or Twelfth Night Cake. Similar to a fruitcake, these have thick pastry and are packed with spices, fruit, nuts… and more than a dash of whisky!
There are loads more ways to Scots-up your Christmas, including cracking an egg so you can read your fortune in the yolk (?!) or heading to Up Helly Aa, a frankly amazing-sounding fire festival in the Shetlands.
If you already celebrate a Scottish Christmas, we salute you. But, if your Mum’s Black Bun is always burnt, or your Dad’s Boxing Day boozing is way boring, we’re also here to help you out...
Why not try xmas with a Cuban twist? it’s guaranteed to brighten your festivities, so book your Christmas party at Revolución de Cuba Glasgow now to avoid disappointment!