So what is Whuppity Scoorie? It is a unique celebration of spring taking place in Lanark (on the east bank of the River Clyde), Scotland. On March 1, youngsters take part in the ancient custom of “Whuppity Scoorie.” They gather in early evening outside St. Nicholas’s church. Then as the bells ring out, they run around the church waving balls of paper around their heads. Years ago, it was a race, but now the celebration is a bit more structured. At the end, the children scramble for coins thrown by community members.
The celebration’s origin is vague. Many say it is a remembrance of days when miscreants were whipped around the cross, which was then “scoored” in the Clyde. It is supposed to reflect the spring’s light replacing the dark winter nights. Whatever its origins, generations of children have taken part and have made sure that this part of Lanark’s past endures. (www.thecapitalscot.com/pastfeatures/whuppity.html)
By the way, “a plaque on a stone plinth set in an unpromising gap between two buildings facing across to St. Nicholas’s church states, ‘Here stood the house of William Wallace who in Lanark in 1297 first drew his sword to free his native land.’”’