The Imagine Alba Podcast- Winter Celebrations in Scotland

Ho Ho Holidays are Here! The Best of Scotland’s Winter Festivals

Between raising the roof on St Andrew’s Day (30 November) for Scotland’s patron saint, and raising a dram in honour of the Bard on Burns Night (25 January) - with the world-famous Hogmanay celebrations in between - it’s fair to say that Scotland does a winter celebration well. Revellers are invited to get into the spirit and join Scotland’s winter festivals taking place throughout the country.

You can listen to our special Festcast episode here by downloading from iTunes and subscribing:

Or you can listen through our podcast feed:

Hogmanay in Edinburgh. Image by VisitScotland

Looney Duks at Queensferry take the plunge into the cold water in a traditional New Year's Day dip. Image by VisitScotland

Christmas Clootie

Clootie dumpling is a traditional Christmas pudding made with dried fruit and suet. It gets its name from the 'clootie' or cloth used to steam it.

Image by Matt Riggott



• 450 grams plain (all-purpose) flour

• 200 grams raisins

• 200 grams sultanas

• 200 grams caster (powdered) sugar

• 150 grams suet

• 1 tsp salt

• 1 tsp ground allspice

• 1 tsp ground cinnamon

• 1 tsp ground ginger

• 2 eggs

• 3 tsp black treacle ( or molasses)

• 3 tsp baking powder

• 100 ml milk

Water, muslin cloth (or a clean tea towel or pillow case), string.


Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix the sultanas and raisins, peel the apple and grate it into the bowl. Mix the fruit into the dry ingredients, and add the eggs, milk and treacle. Stir well.

Moisten the cooking cloth and sprinkle with a thin, even layer of flour. Tip the pudding mix onto this, and tie the four corners of the cloth together. Leave enough string at both ends to loop around the handles of the pan.


Suspend the pudding in the water, turn down to a simmer, place a lid on the pan, and simmer for four hours, checking the water level occasionally and topping up if needed. Towards the end of cooking time, preheat your oven to 160°C (320°F) for fan oven, 180°C (356°F) for regular oven. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease it well with butter.

When the dumpling is done, remove it from the water and let it sit for a while until cool enough to handle. Unwrap and place on the baking sheet.

Place it in the oven for about 20 minutes to dry out and brown the crust. Turn it around halfway through drying.

Serve with ice cream, cream or custard.

From the Imagine Alba team, merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Please enjoy our podcast about Scotland! And if your travels bring you to the Oban area, get in touch about a private day tour from Oban, and Oban Walking Tour or local experience that is sure to be the highlight of your trip. Email us today and start the conversation about your private day tour!

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