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Let’s Talk Kilts! By Marie Treanor
I know kilts fascinate the rest of the world – I should explain at this point that I’m Scottish! – so I thought I’d talk about why in the world Scotsmen wear them!
Well, actually, they don't wear them nearly as often as you might think! Big party occasions like weddings and New Year, traditional events like Highland games, pipe band marches, or formal events where other people might wear evening dress, are the times you're most likely to see them in any quantities.
Kilts have become a symbol of "Scottishness", of patriotism, but it might surprise you to know that the original kilt looked very little like the Highland dress of today. Today's kilts, grew out of a romanticized version of what was basically poor Highland peasant costume, and Sir Walter Scott generally gets the credit for "inventing" it.
The irony is that Lowland gentlemen, and noblemen, would at once time have despised the kilt as the garb of the Highland lower orders. It was basically a blanket, often brightly coloured, that could be slept under at night, and then wrapped around the body and pinned for day wear. And yet, in the early years of Queen Victoria's reign, it became fashionable on high days and holidays for all Scotsmen from whatever region, including those of the highest rank, to wear a new, romanticized version of the once despised kilt. Why?
Basically, a resurgence of Scottish pride. The Jacobite Rebellion (1745-46) had somewhat unfairly tarred the entire Scottish nation with the same brush of disloyalty and rebellion. Highland culture, in terms of language and dress, was outlawed, and it was very hard for any Scots to thrive in this general atmosphere of mistrust. Victoria, however, fell in love with the Highlands, and with Sir Walter Scott's romantic view of Scottish history. At least partly as a result, the Scots as a whole adopted Highland symbols like the kilt, to represent their own patriotism, their newly rediscovered pride in their own nation.
OK, I know what you’re going to ask me. What do Scotsmen wear under their kilts?
Whatever they like, of course!
Although – sh-sh - just as you hope, it’s traditional to wear nothing at all .
Marie Treanor lives in Scotland with her eccentric husband and three much-too-smart children. Having grown bored with city life, she resides these days in a picturesque village by the sea where she is lucky enough to enjoy herself avoiding housework and writing sensual stories of paranormal romance and fantasy.
Find Marie and her books
Awakened by Blood #3
Oct 4, 2011
Despite the growing passion that unites them, all is not well between Elizabeth and Saloman. She refuses to follow him as he builds his influence among the human population and consolidates his rule over the vampire world. A shocking revolt is just the latest crisis that's call him away.
But under Saloman's regime, vampires have become less concerned with secrecy. And after he joins forces with vampire hunters, Elizabeth begins to understand the inevitable collision of the two worlds. She could be a conduit between humanity and the undead-is she can manage to play both sides and stay alive...