South Uist Hogmanay festival gathering pace

4th January 2018

[:en]Now in its third year, Fèis Chullaig, the Hogmanay festival organised by Ceòlas Uibhist, has gone from strength to strength. Running between Christmas and New Year, events including dances, family cèilidhs and music sessions saw the highest number of participants yet. Originally starting out as a residential school in 2015 based on the successful summer school model, the event has altered to be more community orientated, responding to local demand.

Featuring a strong programme focussed on children and young people this year, the Fèis opened with a crafts, story and dance session in Lochboisdale Hotel on the 28th, followed by a traditional music session led by Alana MacInnes and Shona Masson.

Èirisgeidh was the setting for Friday’s events, which included an array of events including a somewhat chilly cockle picking on the morning tide, further bilingual children’s activities, a piping recital featuring students of Iain MacDonald of Glenuig and a dance in Talla Choimhearsnachd Èirisgeidh played by Kilphedar Sound.

The traditional Hogmanay cèilidh in the 19th century Grogarry Lodge, complete with cocktails and fresh seafood hors d’oeuvres in a cosy setting, was exceptionally busy on Saturday, with around 50 people arriving to hear authentic local music. The relaxed evening was followed by an energetic dance in Talla an Ìochdair, driven by the mastery of Trail West, one of Uist’s favourite bands. Around 250 adults spent the night dancing Strip the Willow and enjoying Gaelic sing-alongs.

On Hogmanay itself, droves of families packed into the Borrodale Hotel for a children’s cèilidh, which saw our talented youth singing, dancing and playing the button box and pipes. With Penny Burgess as bean an taighe, the tradition of the Hogmanay boys was brought into the hotel. The Duan Callaig was recited by local primary children and several lit caisean, from Smercleit and Èirisgeidh, were passed around the lounge for a New Year’s blessing. The Fèis was brought to a close with a lively traditional music session.

Ceòlas received highly complementary feedback, including: “traditions and culture truly rooted to Uist, moving with times, alive and kicking for young and old and so much fun! You really did crack it!”

Ceòlas would like to thank the over 630 attendees, as well as those who performed. Special thanks go to Angus Campbell for supplying the seafood, Grogarry Lodge staff for their help with the catering, the staffs of Lochboisdale Hotel, Borrodale Hotel and Am Politician, those who helped to run the Ìochdar dance and Roddy MacKay, the Colliers and the MacInnes of Èirisgeidh for the caiseanan. The organisers would like to acknowledge and show appreciation for the support given by Creative Scotland, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, HIE and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

 [:gd]A-nise na treas bliadhna, tha Fèis Chullaig, air a chur air bhonn le Ceòlas Uibhist, a’ dol bho neart gu neart. A’ ruith eadar an Nollaig agus an Callainn, chunnaic an fhèis, anns a bheil dannsaichean, cèilidhean teaghlaich agus seiseanan ciùil, an àireamh as àirde de dhaoine a’ nochdadh ann. Bhon a chaidh a chur air dòigh an tòiseachd mar sgoil chòmhnaidheach, tha an tachartasan air atharrachadh gu bhith ag amas air a’ choimhearsnachd, a rèir an iarrtais ionadail.

Le prògram a-mach gu sònraichte airson na h-òigridh, thòisicheadh an fhèis le feasgar ealain, sgeulachdan is dannsa ann an Taigh-òsta Loch Baghasdail air an 28mh, agus seisean ciùil thradaiseanta còmhla ri Alana NicAonghais agus Shona Masson na dhèidh.

B’ e Èirisgeidh an suidheachadh airson tachartasan DihAoine, le farsaingeachd thachartasan a’ gabhail a-steach togail shrùbain air madainn car fuar, seiseanan dà-chànanach eile do chlann, cuirm pìobaireachd le oileanaich Iain Ghlinn Ùige agus dannsa ann an Talla Choimhearsnachd Èirisgeidh le Kilphedar Sound.

Cha ghabhadh an Loidse Ghróigearraidh, anns an robh a’ Chèilidh Chullaig feasgar DiSathairne, ris a’ chòrr dhaoine agus mu 50 duine a’ nochdadh airson deochan, hors d’oeuvres maoraich agus ceòl Gàidhealach an tac an teine bhlàith. Lean a’ chèilidh laghadh le dannsa beòthail ann an Talla an Ìochdair, air a lasadh le puirt Trail West, aon de na còmhlain as fhèarr le muinntir Uibhist. Chaith mu 250 inbheach an oidhche a’ dannsa Strip the Willow agus a’ togail an fhuinn ris na h-òrain Ghàidhlig.

Air Oidhche Chullaig fhèin, thàinig teaghlaichean nan dròbhan gu ruige Taigh-òsta a’ Bhorodail airson cèilidh chloinne, far an robh an òigridh thàlantach againn a’ seinn, a’ dannsa agus a’ cluich air a’ bhosga ’s a’ phìob. Fo stiùir Peinidh Burgess ’s i na bean an taighe, thugadh na gillean Cullaig a-steach dhan taigh-òsta. Ghabh iad an duan Callaig agus chaidh grunn chaisean a lasadh, dà sheòrsa à Smercleit agus Èirisgeidh, agus a chur mun cuairt airson beannachadh na Callaig. Thugadh an fhèis gu crìch le seisean ciùil thradaiseanta beòthail.

Fhuair Ceòlas grunn molaidhean airson na fèis, mar: “cleachdannan agus dualchas fìor-Uibhisteach, ag atharrachadh leis na bliadhnaichean, beò slàn dha sean is òg agus làn spòrs! Sibh fhèin a rinn an gnothach air!”

Bu mhath le Ceòlas taing a thoirt don chòrr is 630 daoine a thàinig, cho math ris an fheadhainn a chluich ’s a sheinn. Tha taing shònraichte a’ dol gu Aonghas Nèill Mhòir airson a’ mhaoraich, luchd-obrach Loidse Ghróigearraidh airson cuideachadh leis a’ Chèilidh Chullaig, an luchd-obrach aig Taigh-òsta Loch Baghasdail, Taigh-òsta a’ Bhorodail agus Am Politician, an fheadhainn a chuidich le dannsa an Ìochdair agus Roddy MacÀidh, na Colliers agus Clann Thormoid Eachainn airson nan caiseanan. Bu mhath leinn cuideachd taing mhòr a thoirt do na h-ùghdarrasan poblach airson an taice: Alba Chruthachail, Bòrd na Gàidhlig, HIE agus Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

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