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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Spring’s here but is it time yet tae cast yer cloots?

15th March 2010

Linda Gunn, the academic leading the project to record Scotland’s intangible cultural heritage, is asking visitors to the Scots Language Centre to help her find examples of weather lore. After the examples related to weddings which were thrown up through last month’s request for help from the Scots Language Centre, Linda Gunn says they are now looking for sayings and customs connected to the climate and changing seasons. Gunn says,  ‘There must be loads of people out there who’ve lived and worked on the land or sea and can tell us about customs, festivals, rituals, superstitions and beliefs they have about nature and the universe. What about traditions on the coming of Spring or any other change of season and what we believe the skies or winds are telling us about the weather to come, the chance of good growing or fishing conditions?’

Linda and colleagues from the ICH research team have enlisted the help of Scotland’s politicians. MSPs were asked to ‘do some work in their lunch hour’ and on 4 March were shown the ICH in Scotland Wiki and asked to help populate the online inventory. South of Scotland MSP, Aileen Campbell, contributed Lanark’s Lanimer Day celebrations and ‘Whuppity Scoorie’ while Alasdair Allan told the team about funeral walks in the Western Isles.

Gunn has urged SLC visitors to contribute online, ‘It couldn’t be easier to add examples of customs and traditions practiced in your part of the country to the ICH in Scotland wiki’ says Linda, ‘I’m a computer numptie, but I’ve managed it!’ The team have developed an online tutorial to show you how, so either let them know about your examples of ‘seasonal’ and weather related  customs and sayings or get online and add them yourself. Gunn has asked that people continue to make contributions on the theme of weddings and courtship (blackening and the like). ‘There’s no closing date for any subject on this project’, she says.

Find out more and contribute to the wiki at

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