Lidl teams up with Scottish poets for 'daft days of Christmas' campaign

Five Scots poets have got together to celebrate a traditional Scottish saying.

Published 2nd Dec 2020
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

Lidl is kicking off the Christmas countdown in true Scottish style, by unearthing a forgotten Scots phrase - ‘daft days’.

Lidl has brought together five of Scotland’s top modern bards, including Scots rising star, Len Pennie, to pay homage to the traditional 12 days of Christmas - with ‘daft days’ poems.

Originally made famous by 17th century Scots poet, Robert Fergusson, the phrase described the fun, frivolity and merriment of the twelve days that run between Christmas and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

Now, the discount supermarket is bringing together five of Scotland’s top poets to help the nation reconnect with this little-known aspect of Scottish Christmas culture.

From the dreich weather to a dram tae see in the bells, Lidl’s ‘daft days’ poems tell the tale of a timeless Christmas for modern Scots.

Leading the collective is Scots rising star, Len Pennie, who drew acclaim earlier this year for her ‘Scots word of the day’ series, filmed from her family home in Anstruther, Fife.

Lidl’s acclaimed Daft Days Poets also include Stuart Paterson from Dumfries and Galloway, Jo Gilbert from Aberdeen, Gary Robertson from Dundee and Anne Frater from the Isle of Lewis, who has penned her work in Gaelic.

To help school children discover Scots, a series of virtual poetry workshops with local schools is planned, where the next generation of bards will pen their own poems celebrating the ‘daft days’.

Len Pennie said: “Lidl’s Daft Days poetry collection is the perfect way tae countdown tae the holidays, while keepin the Scots language alive and at the heart of a traditional Scottish Christmas.

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"My poem is definitely reflective of the struggles this year has brought, and what the festive season means to me - family, friends, kindness, and sharing.

"I’d absolutely encourage people tae get involved and try their hand at writing a wee Scots poyum, or any poyum for that matter - there’s no right or wrong way tae dae it. It doesnae matter how it's spelt or how much time it takes you, just have fun and express yersel.”

Ross Millar, Lidl’s Regional Director for Scotland, added: “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.”

Lidl shoppers are being encouraged to pick up a Lidl Book of Big Adventures - available from 10 December - in partnership with the National Trust for Scotland, from any one of its 104 Scottish stores, which includes a fun activity for kids to try their hand at writing a Scots poem at home.

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Known for cake making, experimental jam recipes, Champagne, whisky and gin drinking (and the inability to cook Gnocchi), Rosalind is the Food and Drink Editor and whisky writer for The Scotsman, as well as hosting Scran, The Scotsman's food and drink podcast.
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