On Friday 18th May the Cel’tiron Festival kicks off and oh what a weekend it will be. If you thought Highland Games only happened in Scotland then you are quite wrong. In France they take the “jeux de force ecossais” very seriously and many events take place throughout the year. This weekend in May will play host to the Highland Dancing Championships and will be one filled with dancing, caber tossing, concerts, medieval village, markets and theatre all centred around celtic traditions.
15 lucky dancers and their teachers from Lynella school of dance in our local towns of Eyemouth and Kelso here in the Scottish Borders will be travelling to the Cel’Tiron festival in Thiron Gardais. You might have spoken to Kaye on our customer services team and her daughter Charlie is one of the lucky 15 very excited about their trip to Paris without their parents. The girls will give a performance followed by the famous Fanny Aubret who will also dance with the Paris and District Pipe Band at an outside duo concert.
If you haven’t heard of Fanny then hers is quite a story. She says:
It was love at first sight when I discovered Highland Dancing thanks to the televised display at the Interceltic Festival in Lorient in 2012! Given the absence of Highland dancing schools in France, I decided to teach myself by watching videos online…
Helped by Stéphane Béguinot the pair have raised the profile of Highland dancing in France and in 2016 Fanny competed in her first competition and became the first ever French Highland Dancer to win the Fling trophy, in Edinburgh no less.
The story behind the relationship between Kelso and Thiron-Gardais is also an interesting one. The town is home to an Abbey (Eglise Abbatiale de Thiron-Gardais) built by the same monks who built Kelso Abbey and it is therefore said that the abbeys are twinned.
Is your town twinned with a Scottish one or are you in Scotland and twinned with a town overseas? We would love to hear more and share your stories!