Poet Stuart’s “daft days” celebration

An award-winning Dumfries and Galloway poet has been commissioned by Lidl to celebrate “daft days”, the original Scottish 12 days of Christmas poem made famous by 17th century Scots poet Robert Fergusson.

Stuart Paterson has written his own poem in Southern Scots to pay homage to the region – from getting the Christmas shopping in, in Lockerbie, to opening up the advent calendar in Locharbriggs, it captures a snapshot of everyday life and festive fun in homes across Dumfries and Galloway.

To help local school children discover Southern Scots, he will host a virtual poetry workshop with pupils from Dumfries Academy where the next generation of bards will pen their own poems celebrating the ‘daft days’.

Stuart said: “This is a great way of helping today’s Scots rediscover part of our culture that’s at risk of being forgotten. When Robert Fergusson wrote ‘The Daft Days’ in 1772, it was eight years before the world-famous carol; which absolutely makes it the original, Scottish version of the ‘Twelve days of Christmas’.

“From Stranraer to Sanquhar, my poem is an ode to Dumfries and Galloway and what the festive season means to me and to us all. I think – family, friends and, of course, fun, especially now.”

Stuart says: “Whit an awfy braw wey tae mind Scots o oor ain culture! We shouldnae let geed Scots traditions be forgot aboot like sae mony are stertin tae be. Robert Fergusson’s ‘The Daft Days’ fae 1772 wis written afore the famous carol ‘The Twelve Days o Christmas’ sae it aw stertit here!

“Fae Stranraer tae Sanquhar, ma poem’s fir Dumfries an Gallowa itsel an whit this time o the year means tae me an tae us aw here – faimily, freens an haein fun, especially noo.”

Ross Millar, Lidl’s regional director for Scotland, said: “This project has certainly been an education for us all, uncovering the origins of ‘daft days’ – the original, Scottish twelve days of Christmas.

“Our aim at Lidl is to celebrate all that makes Scotland unique, from food to culture. ‘Daft days’ really is at the heart of Scotland’s festive season and we’re incredibly proud to celebrate this.”

Dumfries and Galloway shoppers are being encouraged to pick up a Lidl Book of Big Adventures, in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland, from any one of Lidl’s 104 Scottish stores.

It includes a fun activity for kids to try their hand at writing a Scots poem at home. It is available from December 10.

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