Sunday, 18 January 2015

Project 2015 Reasons to count my blessings

Reason 3


I am so thankful to belong a group of people who believe that traditions are important and wish to keep them alive.
Perhaps it started because I am Scottish, and the Scots have always honoured traditions in Music, Dance, Poetry etc.
Interestingly enough, Jersey has a very similar take on things, and any excuse to remember the past is celebrated in style.
I was remind of this yesterday when my husband and his Morris Dancing ( in itself a tradition) friends went out to Wassail the apple orchards on the island. They dressed up in rags and bells, blacked their faces and sang and danced to scare away the evil spirits and bring a good crop to the trees. Today it is all a bit of fun, but it must have been an important occasion in the past.

The other tradition, which concerns me more, is Burns' Night. As we are the only Ceilidh band on the island, we are expected to work our socks off at this time of the year. It seems like everyone wants to capitalise on Robert Burns' birthday and have a traditional Burns' Supper, complete with Haggis and Neeps, whisky, bagpipes, speeches, music and dancing. And that's where we come in!  We start next week with an enormous event for the Scottish Society of Jersey, which will be followed by evenings for both yacht clubs and the Scottish Church.

Other traditions/ superstitions I observe are things such as making sure all work is done at home before New Year- and no washing allowed on the day itself,  May Day, typical food at special times of the year and others which are typical island events such as the St Helier Pilgrimage on 16th July each year. This is to commemorate St Helier, a Belgian Monk who was beheaded by Viking raiders after protecting the island from them for many years.
It is a sad thing to see that many children today are throwing away tradition- but perhaps they are making new ones for the future.


  1. It's very interesting to read about these different traditions, and I guess you will be very busy this week with all your Burns Night events! Must be a lot of fun, and you get to socialize with a lot of people!

    Yes, I agree that traditions should be kept alive for future generations, and let's hope there are some young people who are being taught about them and who will carry them on....