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A mòd is a festival of Scottish Gaelic song, arts and culture.[1] Historically, the Gaelic word mòd (Scottish Gaelic: [mɔːt̪]), which came from Old Norse mót, refers to any kind of assembly.[2] There are both local mòds, and an annual national mòd, the Royal National Mòd. Mòds are run under the auspices of An Comunn Gàidhealach.[3] The term comes from a Gaelic word for a parliament or congress in common use during the Lordship of the Isles.

A Mòd largely takes the form of formal competitions. Choral events (in Gaelic, both solo and choirs), and traditional music including fiddle, bagpipe and folk groups dominate. Spoken word events include children and adult's poetry reading, storytelling and Bible reading, and categories such as Ancient Folk Tale or Humorous Monologue. Children can also present an original drama, and there are competitions in written literature. Unlike the National Mòd, local mòds usually only last a day or two. They attract a much smaller crowd and the only notable social event is the winners' ceilidh. As there are fewer competitions than in the National Mòd, this ceilidh is often more like a traditional ceilidh with dancing and guest singers between the winners' performances.

Culturally, mòds are comparable to an Irish Feis (although Scotland also has its own fèisean and fèis movement) or the Welsh eisteddfod, but without the ancient roots or the fanciful nineteenth-century "druidic" pageantry of the National Eisteddfod of Wales.

List of mòds[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Koch, John T. Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia. Vol. 1-. ABC-CLIO. p. 472. ISBN 9781851094400. Despite these shortcomings, the Mod retains a flagship status and is recognized throughout Scotland as a manifestation of Gaelic culture.
  2. ^ Lynch, Michael (2007). The Oxford Companion to Scottish History. Oxford University Press. p. 425. ISBN 0199234825.
  3. ^ Koch, John T. Celtic culture: a historical encyclopedia. Vol. 1-. ABC-CLIO. p. 471. ISBN 9781851094400.

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