Lanark Whuppity Scoorie

Where: Lanark, South Lanarkshire at St Nicholas' Kirk on the High Street
When: 1st March
Time: 5.45 pm


Outside the Kirk

Whuppity Scoorie is a festival celebrating the approach of spring and must be one of the best-named events in the calendar year!  At 5.45 pm excitement builds as the local children gather outside St Nicholas’ church in the High Street, clutching curious paper balls constructed mainly from wrapping paper and newsprint and attached to long strings. After the clock strikes six and the bell starts to toll, the kids run clockwise around the kirk whirling their paper balls like maces ; after three laps of the church there is a scramble for pennies. The origins of the event are uncertain but most theories seem to agree that there is a link to the days becoming longer or that the children are driving away the devil (he mustn’t like paper balls!) in a rite to ensure a fruitful year to come. Whatever the reasons for it, todays children certainly seem to enjoy it.

Helpful Hints

The statue on the church wall is of William Wallace. Just east of the church, look out for the Tollboooth which has a window display and plaque to Lanimer Day, the local boundary marking custom (see separate article).

In years when 1st March falls on a Sunday, the event moves to Monday 2nd instead.

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