The History of England

from Celts through 20th century

National Gaelic Mod

Category: Customs + Festivals

The year’s foremost event for thousands of Highlanders is the National Gaelic Mod, the Scottish equivalent of the Eisteddfod, or the gathering of the Cornish bards at their annual Gorsedd. The birthplace of the National Mod was Oban” and it began in 1890 with the formation of Au Comunn Gaidhealach, the Highland Association for the cultivation of Gaelic literature and music, the preservation of national and local institutions, the fostering of Scottish industries and to encourage the wearing of the kilt.

The National Mod is held every year at a different Scottish centre, and attracts more than 2,000 entries for the various competitions from all parts of Scotland and the surrounding islands. In no field of Gaelic culture has the organization achieved greater triumphs than in the development of choral music. Poetry and prose, too, owe a debt of gratitude to the Mods, and the Gaelic drama may well be claimed to be alto: gether a creation of Au Comunn.

One of the more unofficial but compelling attractions of any Mod, wherever held, is the informal ceilidh. These ceilidhs are held every night in hotels and private houses throughout the town where the Mod happens to take place, and often the Gaelic songs are sung with deep emotion until the early hours of the morning.

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