Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Well, last night was interesting. A friend of mine took me back over to St. Giles to show me the Thisel Chapel, which was closed when we were there for Christmas services. It is an amazing room with great stained glass windows and the seats for all the members (all of them are ancient lords of Scotland who meet there a couple of times each year). It was quiet the amazing place. We also toured it again when there were far fewer people around and I could get a good look at each memorial or burial spot (they actually bury people directly into the floor).

On the way there, we saw a replica Viking ship and my friend got excited since she wanted to see the procession but thought it was not until New Years Eve. The procession is much like SeaFair's pirate invasion of Seattle every year. The Vikings come and take the town leaders hostage and the process up the Royal Mile from Holyrood palace to parliament Square, which is directly in front of St. Giles, where they get the ship then they march them down the mound and onto Prince's Street then up to Carlton Hill. The Vikings have large torches and everyone follows behind them with torches of their own which they can buy with all the money going to charity. In the crowd, a Norse band plays music while they process (it was distinctly New Orleans jazz this time around not very Norse but that was alright). Then farther behind pipers start playing traditional Scottish Highland war songs. When they reach Carlton Hill they have a mock battle with the Celts who are led by the pipers. The Celts win and they set the boat on fire then everyone parties.

There had to be around 10,000 to 20,000 people in the procession. It was quiet an interesting sight with the town fathers and mothers in all their traditional costumes marching between the Viking warriors then to hear the pipers in the background. We did not go up to Carlton Hill to watch the festivities. She thought that she would be here another year to see it. I may or may not be here depending on if they want to keep me on.

Anyway, I am working on my paper again so I will get back to it.

posted by Chris  #11:30 AM | 0 comments |