Glasgow Letter: Gaelic summer for Glasgow at festival 2018

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A song trail following the story of Gaelic in Glasgow, a day of shinty- themed events including a special ceilidh on Glasgow Green and a celebration of Gaelic poetry in Queen’s Park are among the highlights of a diverse programme of Gaelic arts being presented this August as part of Festival 2018 – the dynamic cultural programme for the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.

The programme is taking place as part of Glaschu: an ongoing three-year project that aims to highlight, share and explore the cultural, linguistic, historical and contemporary connections Gaelic has with the city through events and a portal at

On Saturday August 11, a unique city trail beginning at Central Station at 2pm will share stories of Gaelic Glasgow through songs, performance, poetry and folklore. Join artists including Mary Ann Kennedy and Alasdair Whyte on the Glaschu Gaelic Song Trail for a walk that will explore this fascinating aspect of our city.

Sunday August 5 is The Big Day of Shinty. At Greenfield playing fields from 11am, there is come-and-try shinty session open to everyone. From 12.30pm, watch top teams from across Scotland battle it out for a unique one-off cup to celebrate Festival 2018.

Meanwhile, at Glasgow Green, there will be shinty demonstrations from 1pm and a shinty ceilidh starting at 5.30pm with Gaelic singers Mary Ann Kennedy, Gillebride MacMillan and Friends.

Queen’s Park Poetry Garden is the setting for an outdoor event on Friday August 3 beginning at 4.30pm called ‘..ach iadsan a bha ‘n Glaschu/But they who were in Glasgow’. Presented by the Gaelic Books Council, the event is a celebration of three Gaelic poets, Alasdair Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair, Donnchadh Bàn Mac an t-Saoir and Somhairle MacGill-Eain. This marks the 50th anniversary of the Gaelic Books Council through songs, words and music.

Also on Friday August 3 at 6.30pm, Ag ainmeachadh na Craoibhe (Naming the Tree) will feature Gaelic song, poetry and a naming ceremony centered on the Hidden Garden’s Ginko Tree.

George Square on Saturday August 4 from 4.30pm will be the place to be for a mass Gaelic cèilidh with Gaelic song and cracking music from the acclaimed Glenfinnan Ceilidh Band.

Councillor David McDonald, chairman of Glasgow Life and deputy leader of Glasgow City Council, said of the Gaelic events: ‘The rich traditions and vibrant contemporary culture of Gaelic will be presented in this fantastic programme, when the incredible mix of Festival 2018 and the Glasgow 2018 European Championships will make Glasgow the place to be.

‘We can share in the music, poetry and stories of the Gaels, learn how Gaelic has helped shape our home and enjoy a sport that is especially popular with Gaelic speakers in a diverse range of events that can be enjoyed by everyone.’

To find out more, visit and

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