Scottish sword dances and poker
In the 15th century, there were recorded the first performances of sword dances in the folklore of Scotland, a custom that can also be found in Welsh and English Morris dance, but in Austria, Germany, Flanders, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Romania.
A short history of the dances
Scottish sword dances, around 1400, were recognized as the war dance which had some ceremonial sense in the Scottish Royal court. To choose the best men at arms, old kings and clan chiefs organized the Highland Games. During the games, men would demonstrate their strength, stamina and agility. Some of the earliest references mentioned that men participating in the games would often be accompanied by the music of bagpipes. The rules were pretty simple. The dancer had to cross two swords and put them on the ground in the form of X and then dance around and within the 4 quarters of it.
The Scotichronicon mentions for the first time these dances in 1440. It is a work compiled in Scotland by Walter Bower. Regarding the dances, there is a passage that involves the marriage of Alexander III with Yolande de Dreux, an event that took place at Jedburgh in Roxburgshire on 14 October 1285.
Later, in 1573, at Stockholm Castle, there is said that mercenaries performed such a dance in front of Swedish King, John III. History recalls that the dance was used as a part of the plot to kill the King, as the conspirators could wear weapons without arousing suspicion. But in the end, the sign was never given at the decisive moment.
Other similar events took place at a receptions for Anne of Denmark at Edinburgh in 1589, for James VI in 1617, and again for Charles I in 1633.
A variety of Scottish sword dances
Many of the Highland dances now lost were performed with a variety of traditional weapons, including Lochaber axe, the broadsword, a combination of targe and dirk, and the flail.
There is an old song, Bualidh mi u an sa chean, that may indicate some form of weapon to play to music.
In 1880, in Book of the Club of True Highlanders, McIntyre North describes nine steps of a dance, stating that the first step beats the rhythm in time with the tune Gillie Calliun.
Highland Dirk Dance is a combative sword dance that still exists. This dance is often linked with dances called Macinorsair, the Broad Sword Exercise or the Bruicheath.
Scottish sword dances in the Highlander Regiments
The tradition of these dances were kept in Highlander Regiments with some changes of rules. First a soldier had to prepare for a dance and he should put two swords on the ground in the form of an X. Then he would proceed to a complex series of steps between and around the sword. All would happen on the sound of the bagpipes. Even more, the dance is one that could be performed with more than one individual. Even in the 21st century the tradition of competitive dancing still exists. In the 1930s, the games were performed at a Regimental Highland Games. The rules were pretty easy. Four swords were laid on the floor in a cross shape. Then a dancer would perform some steps across and around the sword base. The dancer had to keep the back straight, arms raised and hands in a particular shape. Throught time, this dance became an integral part of the performance of the pipes and drums band. Highland country dancing was also encouraged within the Regiment.
Highlander dances and poker
Scottish sword dances were a form of entertainment back in the early days as it is nowadays. Highlander dances are still typical in many of Scotlands areas and people gather to watch and take part in them whether it’s for fun or it’s competition.
You may ask yourself what do Highlander dances and poker have in common? Good music, great fun and a strong competition are also a must for Highlanders who prefer another way to entertain themselves: playing poker that is. Even though it’s slightly younger than the Scottish sword dances (it’s story begins in the 19th century), the game of poker is as popular as Highlander dances. People play it in brick and mortar casinos, but in online casinos as well.
Online poker in Scotland
Online poker has become extremely popular as there are hundreds of online casino offerings on the web. The casinos were people play at are usually safe and secure and have a large variety of games, such as: Live blackjack, roulette, slots, UK pub fruities (as people in UK love to have a beer with friends in local pubs), mobile casino games, and more.
You too can discover some of the best places to play poker at and to receive no deposit bonus codes 2017. Online casinos that receive the top rankings in Scotland an in UK, in general, feature high-tech games, state-of-the-art security, fabulous bonuses and many other perks.