Scots poets seek to revive forgotten phrase, “daft days” for Christmas

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SCOTS poets are making an effort this Christmas to revive a forgotten Scots phrase “daft days.”

Five of Scotland’s top poets are aiming to help the nation connect with the phrase first penned in the 17th century.

The poets have been brought together by Lidl to pay homage to the phrase with their own poems.

Scots poet Len Pennie - Scottish News
(Picture by Stewart Attwood) Scots poet Len Pennie.

Originally made famous by 17th century Scots poet, Robert Fergusson, the phrase described the fun, frivolity and merriment of the twelve days that run between Christmas and the 5th January. 

Scots poet Len Pennie, who drew acclaim earlier this year for her ‘Scots word of the day’ series, is one of five poets taking part. 

Len Pennie said: “The Daft Days poetry collection is the perfect way to countdown to the festive holiday, while shining a light on how Scots words and phrases – some of which are totally unique to different parts of Scotland – were a big part of a traditional Christmas. 

Toast Tae The Daft Dayas by Len Pennie - Scottish News
Toast Tae The Daft Days by Len Pennie.

“My poem is definitely reflective of this year and what the festive season means to me – family, friends, kindness, sharing. 

“I’d absolutely encourage people to get involved and try their hand at writing a Scots poem, or any poem for that matter – there’s no right or wrong way to do it.”

The Daft Days Poets also include Stuart Paterson from Dumfries & Galloway, Jo Gilbert from Aberdeen, Gary Robertson from Dundee and Anne Frater from the Isle of Lewis, who has written her work in Gaelic. 

Poet Gary Cundee - Scottish News
(Picture by Stewart Attwood) Poet Gary Cundee outside Dundee Lidl store

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.”