Click on pictures to see them in a photo stream : Comment moderation on due to excessive amounts of spam!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Harvest Home....


Friday night was party night on the island. It was the time for the annual Harvest Home. This is a non-religious festival that celebrates the harvest.  Sadly in Orkney many parishes no longer hold this event as not so many people are interested in the tradition. But Graemsay is home to a number of farms and crofts and, though there are few of us, we still celebrate the bringing in of the harvest. Though this year it's VERY late due to poor weather.

John Budge from Longhope on Hoy came along with his accordion and provided music


A lovely meal was provided by the "ladies of Graemsay" (of which I'm not one!)


Owen Tierney from Finstown was our speaker, who, during coffee and cake, spoke about community traditions and told some stories.

There were few of us fit to dance this year, but the children were inducted into the tradition.




There was the obligatory "Strip the Willow" (picture at the top of this post) and the Westray One Step (which seems to include more than one step!).Children often learn the dances at school, and though during teenage years are less keen to show their talents, they do come back to it.  I'm can't hear a beat or remember any steps so I sit out.... plus... yes .... it was an outing for The Red Shoes!

And there were more stories to be told.....


Songs to be sung...


And a wee lass had a go at playing the accordion too!



A fun night was had by all. Here's to next year's harvest and hopes that the summer will be better.

13 comments:

  1. good friends and good music , need no more :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. No pictures of the red shoes????

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL! I was busy enjoying myself or taking photos for others so I forgot to take the photos of my red shoes!!

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful tradition. Glad it was fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes a lot of hard work for folk but it's good fun!

      Delete
  4. Before we arrive at next summer let's first of all hope for a mild winter, with few frosts and little snow - what I call a green winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Um... yes I totally agree with that! I don't "do" winter so try and ignore it as best I can ;-)

      Delete
  5. Can't believe you're having to celebrate Harvest Home in mid-November! I learned Scottish country dances as a schoolgirl and am very glad I did. As you say, you come back to them and they stay with you for life. Otherwise, there's always red shoes...!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Traditionally Harvest Homes in Orkney are end October beginning of November. This year when we had ours there were farmers on Mainland still trying to get crops in. It's been a bad year, as you know. I did "English Country Dancing" at School. I wasn't very good at it. I don't hear a beat, and am not very good at remembering steps. I'd be rubbish on "Strictly"! But oh yes there are the red shoes.... my beautiful red shoes ;-)

      Delete
  6. Oh I love that last photo! It says so much about community.
    My children learned country dances at school throughout their secondary schooling, and the senior balls were all Scottish dancing rather than what I would call 'discos' (but which I'm told is a hilariously out of date term!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely Linda. The musicians who come out to the island are always very good with the children who show an interest in the instruments. John (and his wife Leslye who couldn't come this time) are particularly patient and understanding.

      Oooh I remember "disco"! LOL! I think now you call it "Clubbing" and I don't understand the dancing.... much as my father didn't understand my dancing to "Disco" LOL!

      Delete
  7. Another lovely community event, Sian, even if you didn't dance. I remember learning Scottish country dancing at school and being hopeless at it - poor sense of rhythm and not nimble-footed enough - but I still love to watch. :-)

    ReplyDelete