Communities throughout Northeastern Nova Scotia (which received most of the Scottish Gaelic speaking emigrant population) share their Gaelic traditions at ceilidhs, concerts and Gaelic festivals called Feisean (a community-based Gaelic educational festival).
In years past it was necessary to shrink newly woven wool that came off the loom. Gaelic songs are sung in rhythm as the cloth is pounded on a table. Today, the milling frolic is performed for enjoyment, and is a great way to participate in Gaelic singing and meet Gaelic singers.
Christmas Island, a Gaelic community on Cape Breton's Bras d'Or, features a milling frolic as part of its annual Feis an Eilein (Festival of the Island). For 72 years – the third Friday in August – the community of Johnstown has hosted an annual milling frolic and dance.
Visitors are also able to join singers at the milling table during the Mabou Ceilidh (first weekend in July) or Celtic Colours International festival.
Gaelic music, song and dance is a communal tradition that is meant to be shared. Square dances, held every night of the week on Cape Breton’s west coast, offer a great opportunity to dance to live Celtic music and make new friends.
Sherbrooke Village Gaelic Heritage Days
Sherbrooke - Eastern Shore
We’re celebrating our Scottish heritage by having visitors join in for Gaelic activities including; wool washing, carding, spinning, dyeing and weaving, along with Gaelic singing and a milling frolic/waulking.