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Great Balls of Fire
eBook only

Travel Writing, Adventure & Guides
Publication Date
21 August 2009
eBook only
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
8pp colour plates

Great Balls of Fire

A Year of Scottish Festivals
by Gary Sutherland - Find out more about the author


Old habits die hard in Scotland. During the calendar year, in all corners of the country from Shetland to the Borders, communities are getting up to all sorts of capers in the name of tradition. You'll happen across the strangest activities if you search hard enough. There's far more to Scotland than Burns' Night. Gary Sutherland's brave year of living ceremoniously results in this custom-made guide to Scotland. Great Balls of Fire charts a year of madness, from the ferocious Ba Game in Orkney on New Year's Day to the 300-man brawl between the Uppies and the Doonies in Kirkwall, the Burning of the Clavie in Burghead, the Whuppity Scourie in Lanark, the ancient Kate Kennedy Procession in St Andrews, the burning of the devil in Innerleithen and Langholm Common Riding - where the natives nail a fish to a bannock on a stick - to the Burry Man who stalks South Queensferry in August, and the hardy swingers of Stonehaven casting their fiery balls into the North Sea. Great Balls of Fire is a hilarious and insightful journey around Scotland's most bizarre and fantastic festivals that should not be missed.

Raised in Hopeman - on the Moray Firth - Gary Sutherland has been an ice cream maker, candyfloss maker, shortbread maker, sports journalist and travel writer. He is the author of Hunting Grounds, a season-long travelogue around each of Scotland's league football stadiums, also published by Birlinn. He lives in Glasgow and is wondering if the rain might stop soon.

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