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3.A few words about tartan.

Every Scottish clan had its own tartan.[19] People in Highlands were very good weavers. They died their wool before weaving it; the dyes were made from various roots and plants which grew in this or that bit of land. Therefore one clan dyed its wool in reddish colours, another in green, and so on. And they decorated them differently so as to distinguish the clansmen in battle (especially between neighboring clans which happened rather often).

On the subject of shopping for tartan, the choice is wide. Some designs are associated with particular clans and retailers will be happy to help you find “your” own pattern. By no means all tartans belong to specific clans – several are “district” tartans, representing particular areas. The fascinating story of the tartan itself is told at the Museum of Scottish Tartans.

The museum possesses lots of rare exhibits. One of them is the remarkable woman’s Plaid or Arisaid, the oldest dated in the world: 1726. The Arisaid, worn only by women, reached from head to heels, belted at the waist and pinned at the breast.

The oldest piece of Tartan found in Scotland dates back from about 325 AD. The cloth was found in a pot near Falkirk[20], a simple check in two shades of brown, a long way from the checked and coloured tartans that came to be worn in the Highlands of Scotland in the 1550s. There are now over 2,500 tartan designs, many of them are no more than 20 years old.

4.The national musical instrument of the Scots.

Scotland has its own typical musical instrument, the pipes (sometimes called the bagpipes). The bagpipe was known to the ancient civilizations of the Near East. It was probably introduced into Britain by the Romans. Carvings of bagpipe players on churches and a few words about them in the works of Chaucer and other writers show that it was popular all over the country in the Middle Ages.

In Scotland the bagpipe was first recorded in the 16th century during the reign of James I, who was a very good player, and probably did much to make it popular. For long it has been considered a national Scottish instrument. Even now it is still associated with Scotland.

The sound of the bagpipes is very stirring. The old Highland clans and later the Highland regiments used to go into battle to the sound of the bagpipes.

The bagpipe consists of a reed pipe, the “chanter”, and a wind bag which provides a regular supply of air to the pipe. The wind pipe is filled either from the mouth or by a bellows which the player works with his arm. The chanter has a number of holes or keys by means of which the tune is played.

5.Highland’s dances and games.

You can also find in Scotland its own national dances, Highland dances and Scottish country dances; its own songs (some of which are very popular all aver Britain), its poetry (some of which is famous throughout the English-speaking world), traditions, food and sports, even education, and manners.

Speaking about sports I can’t but mention Highland Gatherings or Games held in Braemar. They have been held there since 1832, and since Queen Victoria visited them in 1848 the games have enjoyed royal patronage. The Games consist of piping competitions, tugs-of-war (a test of strength in which two teams pull against other on a rope, each trying to pull the other over the winning line), highland wrestling and dancing, and tossing the caber.[21]

6.The famous Loch Ness.

Fact or fiction, the Loch Ness monster is part of Loch Ness’s magnetic appeal to visitors. But there is much more to do and see around the shores of this famous waterway than just monster-spotting, and a pleasant day, or even longer, can be spent exploring the many activities. 24 miles long, a mile wide and up to 700 feet deep Loch Ness is a land-locked fresh water lake lying at the eastern end of the Great Glen[22], a natural geological fault which stretches across the width of Scotland. The loch forms part of the Caledonian Canal completed by the celebrated civil engineer Thomas Telford (1757 – 1841), in 1822. Telford took 19 years to build the canal, which spared coastal shipping and fishing vessels a voyage through the waters of the Pentland Firth[23].

Реферат опубликован: 29/08/2008