Our church recently had a Scottish evening, which included a cèilidh (pron. KAY-lee). In Gaelic, cèilidh can mean either a visit with someone in their home, or a gathering where people perform music, sing, recite and dance. It’s the second definition that’s usually meant when the word is used in Scottish English. As usual at our church, there was good company, good music and good food – and also some really talented dancing amongst the older generation:
You may be wondering about what the women are wearing. It just so happens that a number of the women who were there all belong to a Square Dancing group here in Aberdeen. So the Scottish evening was also a bit of an American evening. And that makes good sense, because so much of American country music and dancing was inspired by Scottish and Irish music and dancing. Here is the Dafter with one of the square dancers, who’s wearing a beautiful dress with a touch of tartan:
Children in Scotland are often taught traditional dances at school. To add to the cultural mix, I’ll tell you that the Dafter’s favourite cèilidh dance is the Canadian Barn Dance!
I really enjoy these events at church. Some people might think they are nothing to do with worship, but for me, they are an expression of a community that’s founded on faith. And I don’t agree that worship and fun are mutually exclusive!