Last weekend I went to my first Tartan Day celebration. Tartan Day is an annual celebration of Scottish heritage. Festivals are held all over the United States in parks and other public spaces. There are a lot of men in kilts and women in plaid. I’ve always said that plaid is my favorite color so it is my kind of place.
The celebration included Highland Games in which big, burly men and women throw heavy objects, including but not limited to, a large pole called a Caber. I would think a chiropractor could make a killing at any Highland Games. Bagpipers were everywhere and several Scottish heritage organizations had displays. You could even buy haggis from a food truck.
Though Scottish heritage was the focus, the festival included almost anything remotely Celtic. There were Irish dancers and a hurling match. If you want to know about hurling click on this link. A medieval history group lent a Renaissance Fair aspect to the festivities as they whacked each other with wooden swords. The Civil War reenactors brought some American history to the event. There was even a British Sports Car show. Personally, I would not have wanted my sports car that close to the hurling pitch but I guess they all have insurance.
I always enjoy festivals like this because you get to interact with people who are passionate about their hobbies. They have found something they love to do and are dedicated to it. They might have an ordinary job during the week but for a short time they can be a highlander, or a medieval knight, or whatever they want. When people are that passionate they are always happy to share what they know with others. It is a great way to keep history alive. When you see someone using ancient techniques to create jewelry or clothing, you get a whole new perspective on how our ancestors lived. Watching a line of “civil war soldiers” march across a parking lot gives you a tiny glimpse into the lives of people who lived long ago. It’s a great way to learn.
What are you passionate about? So much of our lives are passive now. We watch television, we surf the Internet, we sit in the stands. Find something you love an do it. Now you may not make a living at it. The old saying, “find something you love and do it on nights and weekends for the rest of your life,” is true. Some people can turn their passion into a living but many don’t. That’s okay though, because it brings joy and creativity into your life. It makes you a better person. So toss your caber, strap on your sword, sew a tapestry, do something your passionate about.