An emerging tradition at some games is to have a ceremony that “dedicate” new kilts or tartans by dipping a small portion of the fabric into a cup of whisky (the water of life)
As background, this an original idea of Clan Chaplain C. Fred Sanford, he has done the ceremony for many years at the Loch Norman games in Rural Hill, NC. Sometimes referred to as a Kilt “blessing”, it is more appropriately termed a dedication.
To conduct a Kilt Dedication Ceremony here are some tips:
- Find a time that doesn’t conflict with other on-going events.
- Ask for the Event Coordinator’s support (approval and help get the word out);.
- Arrange for a piper (optional). The purpose of the piper(s) is merely to start the ceremony off.
- Gather everyone at the appointed place.
- Pair the tartans and Kilts to be blessed with a “sponsor”.
- Give the sponsor a small (pill cup size) taste of whisky (or tea/water to youngsters).
- While you are reciting the words below (or your own version, if you prefer), have the sponsor dip a small corner of the kilt/tartan into the whisky, all the while kneeling in front of the kilt bearer/tartan bearer.
- When done, the sponsor stands and shares the whisky with the kilt wearer/tartan bearer.
- To conclude, the Master of Ceremonies, shares a “wee dram” with the Piper(s).
You can develop your own toast(s) but here are some examples:
Toast #1 (English):
‘Tain’t no skirt,
And ’tain’t no dress.
‘Tis our clan’s kilt
We honor and bless.
With water of life,
Or with water, plain,
We anoint the tartan
Twill bear no stain.
Toast # 2 (English)
Hearken to pipes.
Sheath the sword,
Our clans, our families
Of one accord.
Toast # 3 (Gaelic)
Ar Clann, ar canaan,
Ar ceol agus ar talamh!
Duhtaich Gu Brath Saor!
Our children, our language,
Our songs and our land!
Our country forever free!
Ar clawn, ar kah-nahn
Ar kyawl, ah-kas ar tah-lahv
Do-ich koo brah shorr