Thursday, June 29, 2006
Back from Spain in time for summer festivals
Well, it was back to ‘auld claes and porridge’ this week, as my grandmother used to say. That translates, by the way, as ‘back to old clothes and porridge’ and is a common saying among the older generation when you return from vacation.
My wife and I flew back to Edinburgh from Madrid and 40 degrees centigrade (104F) sunshine on Saturday after a great two weeks touring round Spain.
The weather was not too bad when we got home and my younger brother had made an excellent job of watering all our plants and vegetables in the garden. Of course he was only watering the plants, not cutting the lawns as well, so there are parts of our garden that more resemble the highlands of Vietnam than the lowlands of Scotland, but never mind. That will get tackled this weekend.
Being away for the last two weeks has meant we have missed out on the first four of the big Borders summer festivals. However, as luck would have it, we are back in nice time for the Braw Lads’ Gathering, which is the name given to the local summer festival held in Galashiels.
Being born and bred in Galashiels, means it is my home town festival and I will also be covering it for our paper, The Southern Reporter, this week. Like all the other big Borders festivals, horses and mounted rides play a big part in the ceremonial side of things.
Each year a young man and woman are chosen to be ‘Braw Lad’ and ‘Braw Lass’ and they lead the mounted cavalcades during the week of events, which build up to the main ceremonies this coming Saturday.
Although the Braw Lads’ Gathering only started in 1930, it is based on historical events dating back to the 14th century. And many people originally from Galashiels but who now live abroad, will be returning home this week in time for the festival, where they will meet up with family and old friends.
The annual round of Borders festivals and common ridings are great events because they allow people to celebrate where they are from, demonstrating a pride in their home town.
On Saturday morning, the streets will be thronged with native Braw Lads and Braw Lasses, as folk from Galashiels are known and Scotland’s greatest poet, Robert Burns, even immortalised them in song in 1793.
The lyrics of the first verse are as follows:
And come Saturday, I will be singing them as proudly as any other Gala lad.
Report News: (662) 252-4261
Web Site managed and maintained