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Tag: Brussels

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!


Saint Patrick’s Day, the only day each year I wear my saffron kilt. Although sometimes I get the question wether I’m Irish even if I’m wearing a kilt in a—to me clearly—Scottish tartan, most people associate any kilt with Scotland, and rightly so.

But there certainly is such a thing as an Irish kilt, and saffron kilts have been around as an expression of Irish nationality for over a hundred years!


The ancient Irish actually wore the léine, a linen tunic with voluminous sleeves and a hemline reaching the knees or higher, often dyed with saffron, which turned out quite yellow on linen. When there was a revival of Gaelic nationalism in the nineteenth century, the Gaelic League and the Gaelic Athletic Association—two major nationalist organisations, both concerned with Irish identity—wanted a ‘costume’ or national form of dress. The léine was considered to be too difficult to be updated to the fashions of the day, so they adopted the garment of their Gaelic cousins in Scotland: the kilt, dyed either green or saffron. Used on wool, the saffron dye gave it a bit more of an orange-brownish colour, the one we associate today with saffron kilts.


The school uniform of St. Enda’s School for Boys (1908) included the saffron kilt.


Nowadays the saffron kilt is mainly worn by pipers of Irish regiments, often without a sporran.


The ‘kilted guy’ himself

For a blog called “Kilted Guy”, there are remarkably few photos of myself in a kilt. To remedy that, I’ll start posting some every once in a while.

This one is actually from the first night after I received my kilt, and the first time I’ve worn a kilt in public. Since Brussels lacks Scottish pubs, I decided to go to a more pan-Celtic pub that night: Celtica.

This photo was taken by some tourists, with my own phone after they had taken one with their own camera. I’ve modeled for many more tourist photos after that, but this actually is the only I have myself. Apparently tourists always ‘forget’ to e-mail…

So, without further ado:


Burns Night

Tonight – the 25th of January – is Burns Night, the celebration of the birthday of Robert Burns. The most traditional way to do this is having a Burns Supper, with very Scottish dishes like cock-a-leekie and haggis, neeps and tatties, accompanied by a dram or two of whisky.

Unfortunately I won’t make it to the Burns Supper they’re having at the Church of Scotland in Brussels tonight—working too late—but there will be an alternative Burns Night celebration organised by the Celtic folk group Bothán, at De Kam. And there will be haggis and poetry from the bard!

Time to kilt up!

Scottish Gaelic?


out of curiosity….

How many people know Scottish Gaelic?

If you do lets be friends (or message me)

I wish I could speak Scottish Gaelic! But not a lot of practice opportunities in Brussels, I’m afraid, and not often enough in Scotland (yet)… 

And off we go!

And off we go! Since I try to avoid flying within Europe, I’ll be spending the next 20 hours on buses and ferries. Luckily there will be a three hour gap between buses in London in the morning, giving me some time to enjoy a full English breakfast!


Finally another trip! Scotland once more, Glasgow and the Highlands this time. My bags are almost packed, my kilts ready on their hangers.
Am I taking my kilts? Well yes, and I’ll be wearing them too, hence the current title of this blog! I’ve been wearing them in Brussels, so why not in Scotland, of all places? 🙂


Terwijl de meeste van mijn reisgezellen zich morgen op een onmenselijk vroeg uur uit hun bed moeten hijsen om naar de luchthaven te gaan, is voor mij de reis reeds begonnen. Ik ga namelijk met de trein naar Rome. Enerzijds omdat ik zo’n groene jongen ben, anderzijds omdat ik nu eenmaal moeilijk van een idee ben af te brengen, eens ik dat in mijn hoofd heb gehaald…
Momenteel zit ik dus dus met mijn goedkope ticket maar slimme registratie te wachten in de Thalys Lounge in Brussel-Zuid, genietend van gratis koffie, WiFi en kalmte – de massagestoel en het schoenenpoetsapparaat zijn voor een andere keer – terwijl mensen met een duur eersteklasticket de toegang ontzegd wordt.