The Harris Cèilidh
THE HARRIS CEILIDH
Community & connection
The Gaelic word cèilidh (pronounced kay-lee) is often associated with kilts, highland dancing and a full band of Scottish musicians.
But, it's a word which simply means visiting and socialising with friends, and here in the Outer Hebrides it's an age-old tradition born from the blackhouse days gone by, through the old village hall dances, and into the Harris homes of the 21st century.
An invite to 'come round for a wee cèilidh', requires no fuss or formality. Just bring yourself (and something to drink!)
So, The Harris Cèilidh is all about taking the life-affirming warmth and welcome of our island and its people to the wider world, sharing our spirit through gatherings filled with friendship and conviviality, music, stories, and more...
It's about celebrating the joys of community and connection to each other, no matter how far apart we may find ourselves from friends and family in these unusual times.
THE CEILIDH BOTTLE
A new way to share our island spirit
With the help of ceramicist Rupert Blamire, we've created a very special object to embody the spirit of The Harris Cèilidh, made by hand with craft and care, a rare thing and rather limited in nature.
It is designed to be given and shared with others, providing a unique new way to socially connect, even at a safe social distance.
Each one is glazed in the beautiful colours of our island's sea and sky, with wonderfully tactile patterning. At a half-standard 350ml in size, The Cèilidh Bottle is ideal to present and pour, helping to better enjoy an evening among old friends and family.
Send to loved ones and arrange to join them for a drink and a cèilidh online. Or, simply to let them know you’re missing their good company.
Or, perhaps just procure a bottle for yourself, and enjoy and refill again and again as you take it to gatherings of your own.
The bottle is also presented in a carefully designed box which carries a simple guide to creating your own cèilidh, and holds three postcards from Harris to send to others, inviting them to re-connect and join The Harris Cèilidh with you too.
CÈILIDH BOTTLE AVAILABILITY
2021 BATCHES INFORMATION
For 2021, we have decided that all future releases of Harris Cèilidh Bottles will now be made unannounced.
Each week a small batch of 80-100 bottles will be added to our online store at varying days and times.
We hope this will alleviate any rush to purchase and allow you to buy in your own time.
If the bottles are out of stock, please check again the following week as more are on the way!
RUPERT BLAMIRE: THE MAKING OF THE HARRIS CEILIDH BOTTLE
CREATE YOUR OWN CEILIDH
A simple guide to having a ceilidh
If you've never held your own cèilidh then here are 7 simple steps to get you started...
C . E . I . L . I . D . H.
Comfortable surroundings: Find a convivial space to gather on or offline.
Engaging company: Invite your favourite friends and family.
Interesting stories: Have some tall tales ready to tell.
Love and friendship: Enjoy time well spent in good company.
Island music: Grab an instrument, stream some toe-tapping tunes, or simply sing along.
Dance if the mood takes you: If the night gets lively, get on your feet!
Harris Gin to share: Keep your glass full and the island spirit flowing...
We've also curated some island music to help your gatherings go with a swing.
It's a real mix of old Outer Hebridean toe-tappers and less traditional feet-stompers to enjoy while you share your Isle of Harris Gin.
Sign up to Spotify for free and stream our collection of cèilidh tunes via the links below.
"Mairidh càirdeas is cèol...""Love and music will endure..."
Top image © Neil Priessman, from the collection of Dr John Macleod.
Thank you to Fiona MacSween, Margaret Maclellan, and John Morrison for kind permission to share their photographs.