Drinking from the Quaich
Along with your Scottish story your Homecoming Ceremony can incorporate many different symbolic gestures such as celtic handfasting or drinking from the quaich. With this being #whiskymonth in the Homecoming 2014 calender I though I should tell you a little more about the traditional whisky cup and how you can incorporate this into your trip home to Scotland.
Drinking from a quaich is an ancient Scottish ceremony, symbolic of trust, love and peace between two people. During a marriage ceremony this act of sharing is a symbol of the life you will share together and this cup represents the cup of life. In drinking from the same cup, you are symbolizing your commitment to share all that the future may bring. All the sweetness life’s cup may hold for you should only be sweeter because you drink it together. And whatever bitterness it may contain should be less bitter because you share it together.
Drinking from a quaich is also part of the ancient tradition of hospitality from the Celtic honour system – whoever had shared a cup could not do injury to the other, hence the term “loving cup”. King James VI of Scotland gifted Anne of Denmark such a cup in honour of their marriage in 1589 and since then, many couples have celebrated their nuptials with a drink from the loving cup.
Although traditionally used for marriage ceremonies there are many different ways we can incorporate this into your Homecoming Ceremony. You don’t have to be making a commitment to a loved one, how about making the commitment to the country that you love and call home?
Traditionally, the Quaich should contain whisky, as it is the ‘water of life’, within the ‘cup of life’, but if whisky is not to your tastes, rest assured, this doesn’t matter as much as the act itself, so if you prefer some fizz, or even water, this works just as well. You might even want to try a whisky cocktail for a quirky twist on tradition. A cocktail named ‘The Highball’ grabbed our attention which contains a shot of whisky topped up with soda or ginger ale served with ice in a tall glass – or a quaich if you like?
What’s your favourite whisky to drink from the ‘loving cup’?