Culture in Scotland

Scotland is a nation with strong cultural identity. From whisky and golf, to haggis, kilts and bagpipes, there’s no country in the world like Scotland.

But there is more to us! Take our food, for example. We all know the stereotypical notions of traditional Scottish fare – haggis, porridge and whisky. Not anymore. Scotland's new elite of super-chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Nick Nairn and Andrew Fairlie are taking the country's incredible natural produce – our beef, venison and seafood – and elevating them to Michelin starred levels.

Or that the kilt is making a comeback on the catwalk as designers like Jean Paul Gaultier, Vivienne Westwood and Glasgow's own Jonathan Saunders take traditional Scottish dress to places the clan chiefs never dreamed of.

Everybody knows the cliché of the piper on the shortbread tin. But have you experienced the breath-taking reality of a hundred pipers playing in unison? This isn't an image from Scotland's cultural past: it happens every August at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and on Glasgow Green.

We’re also famous for our delicious, refined Scotch Whiskies, and we’re home to more than 550 golf courses including world-class venues such as the Old Course at St. Andrews and Carnoustie.

Scottish traditions are not something sterile and never changing. They are vibrant, living things, constantly growing and evolving, and every generation adds the thumbprint of its own particular Scottish culture to the whole.

Our National Celebrations

The traditional Burns Supper, Hogmanay and St Andrew's Day celebrations are still very much a part of Scottish culture but the Scots are now joined on these special days by Scots at heart across the globe.

"Auld Lang Syne", a traditional Scottish song first written down by Scotland’s own Robert Burns, is the second most popular song in the world after "Happy Birthday". You may know it as ‘You Yi Di Jiu Tian Chang’, or ‘Friendship Forever’.