The bagpipe is the official musical instrument of Scotland and one of its most iconic cultural traits. In the 1200's, England outlawed the playing of the bagpipe in order to suppress Scottish culture but the people of Scotland kept the tradition alive and eventually gained their freedom from England.
The wearing of kilts is also a tradition of Scotland. These kilts were originally only worn by people from the Highland region but over time adopted by other parts of Scotland. This is not everyday dress in Scotland but normally worn on formal occasions or when celebrating traditional holidays.
These are just a few of the many "tartan" patterns of fabric that kilts are made in. Each one of these tartans represents a "clan" or a family line from various parts of Scotland.
Rugby is a very popular game in Scotland. Similar to American football in some ways, the object is to score in an opponents end zone called a try zone. Each "try" is awarded 5 points with a chance to kick a conversion. The conversion is like an extra point but it is worth two points. The Scottish rugby team is currently ranked 8th in the world.
The game of golf was first played in Scotland. This is the world famous 17th hole at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
This is haggis. A traditional Scottish dish consisting of sheep's innards (lungs, liver, heart) mixed with oatmeal, suet (beef fat), spices and and stock. This "pudding" as it is referred to is encased in the sheep's stomach and boiled for three hours. Yum!!!
For many years, Scotland was under the control of the English king but in the late 1290's a rebellion led by William Wallace allowed Scotland to break away and re-establish its independence.
The Scottish rebellion was chronicled by the movie Braveheart in which William Wallace is played by actor Mel Gibson. Wallace did not see Scottish independence as he was captured, tortured and beheaded as a warning to other Scottish rebels.
In 1603, King James I of Scotland became King James VI of England due to Queen Elizabeth's death and her lack of living heir. King James was most notable for his translation of the Bible from Latin into English.
One of Shakespeare's most famous plays, MacBeth tells the story of the struggle for power between two Scottish nobles over the throne of Scotland.
Alexander Graham Bell is credited with the invention of the telephone.
JK Rowling gained fame for her Harry Potter books.
Actor, Gerard Butler, is famous for his role as King Leonidas in the movie 300.