Scotland is known as a land of breathtaking beauty, delicious shortbread, and powerful lineage. The mighty country is a treasure trove of proud history as well as a trip-worthy adventure. A lot of people who have not been familiar with the country’s antiquity might be surprised to know that Scotland national animal is the unicorn. Let’s be with us to find out more about the Scotland national animal and unicorn facts.
Why is the unicorn Scotland national animal?
Do you know why do unicorns become Scotland national animal? You may associate unicorns, the magical creature, with sparkly children’s parties and rainbow backpacks. But unicorns have been around the world for a very long time and especially the creature is the official national animal of Scotland. However, do you know that the love for this famous mythological creature dates back for many centuries.
The mythical Scotland national animal has featured in several cultures going as far back as the classical age. These include the ancient Babylonians and the Indus civilization. With its single spiraling horn and the white horse-like body, the unicorn is commonly known as a symbol of purity, innocence as well as power in Celtic mythology.
Legends also reveal that their horns can purify poisoned water, which is such an outstanding strength of their healing power.
With Scotland being famed for its love for and long history of legends and myths, we can easily understand why a fabled creature such as the unicorn is chosen as Scotland national animal. The magical creatures have been linked to Scotland for many centuries. While the unicorn is mythological, the ideals it represents are all that make it fit as Scotland national animal.
Unicorns are described as the symbol of strength, power and purity. These are pretty admirable qualities, don’t you think?
The unicorn is so proud and untamable – two words many people would use to describe Scots throughout history. Yes! These untamable, proud creatures are fiercely independent and also, they are hard to capture or conquer. To anyone who has read their Scottish history, this will sound familiar. Although the creatures are mythological, Scots have always loved their meaningful symbols.
The unicorn was first used on the royal coat of arms of Scotlands by William I in the 12th century. In the 15th century, gold coins even appeared with the unicorn on them when King James III was in power. What’s more, many monarchs of Scotland have used the unicorn in their coat of arms. Kings favored this mythical creature as they supposed it to be the best representation of power.
In fact, these legendary creatures were believed to be so strong that only Kings and virgin maidens could capture or conquer them. Kings were able to do this with their divine right to ruler-ship while virgins are as innocent and pure as the unicorns themselves.
Did the unicorns ever exist?
Well, the answer to the question depends on who you talk to. We are guessing that your five-year old daughter’s answer will be a firm “Yes”. Also, many adults believe that unicorns used to appear in our world. However, a lot of people suppose that unicorns have always been a mythical creature. And this seems to be true.
However, there was a time in the past when the general population believed the existence of the unicorns. This belief was perpetuated by rhinoceros and narwhal horns showing up in many strange places. We should understand that people at that time were better with their imagination than scientific. It means that was enough to convince them that these horned beasts roamed the land.
How long have people believed in Unicorn?
The magical creatures have awed people for more than 3,000 years and they will surely continue to enjoy popularity with no sign of falling out of flavour. Do you know the fact that this mythical creature has been mentioned in two of the world’s oldest and most prominent religious books: The Bible and the Quran? What’s more, for a while, this animal was even used as a symbol for Jesus Christ.
When is National Unicorn Day?
National Unicorn Day on April 9 each year is the day to celebrate the mythical horse-like in a variety of ways.
While a lot of people are so happy to simply don their favorite sparkly horned headband. Scotland has been known to have a more reverent approach on this day. On Unicorn Day in 2017, artist Woody Fox made a seven-foot sculpture of a unicorn made from willow for Crawick Multiverse in Dumfries and Galloway. Also, there are many people who are looking for special designs of unicorn shirts as a way to celebrate the mythical creature on that day. Some people love looking for some food recipe to make a unicorn cake, which sounds so interesting.
Where to find Scotland national animal in this country?
For thousands of years, people from different countries around the world believed in the existence of the unicorn. However, in 1825, a prominent French naturalist named Georges Cuvier attempted to dispel the myth by emphasizing that an animal with a split hoof could never grow a single horn from its forehead. Despite his statement, the spirit of the mythical unicorn has lived on ever since. People even find many interesting ways to celebrate National Unicorn Day every year on 9 April.
So, is it true that unicorns exist in Scotland? Of course, they do! And we guess that you are now looking for the best places to visit unicorns in Scotland. Here, we have some suggestions for the ideal places in Scotland where you can spot their country’s national animal
On the way to discovering Edinburgh, you will have a chance to see a number of Scotland national animals designed in various shapes and sizes. There is a very typical example of a heraldic shield by the gates to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. In addition, you can also see things that feature the unicorn in front of the National War Museum and St Margaret’s Chapel at Edinburgh Castle.
A gatepost at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of Her Majesty The Queen in Scotland, or at the gatehouse of the Queen’s Gallery by the palace could also be the ideal places for you to see the images of unicorns. Other places for you to visit are:
- The Kings Fountain at Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots.
- Stone carving on the ST Andrews University building.
- Unicorns at Delgatie Castle near Turriff in Aberdeenshire, known as one of the oldest and most historic castles in Scotland.
- The figurehead of HM Frigate Unicorn in Dundee, the only water-based unicorn in the country.
- The Queens chair in the Thistle Chapel at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh.
And just keep in mind that wherever you see a mercat across (a Scottish market cross and an old symbol of trade and prosperity for many of Scotland towns and cities), you can try to look for a unicorn atop the tower. There are several different examples throughout the country, ranging from the modest to the ornate, in towns and cities such as Edinburgh, Culross, Prestonpans, Falkland, and Dunfermline.
Further north, visitors to Scotland can also find interesting examples of Scottish unicorns at Stirling Castle – the home of the “Hunt of the Unicorn” tapestries, and Dundee, where HMS unicorn, one of the oldest warships in the world, proudly displays a unicorn as its figurehead.
Have you ever gone to Scotland to visit the best places featuring Scotland national animal? Do you know any different places that make you feel so excited? If you like Scotland national animal and this article, feel free to share them with unicorn lovers! Thanks for your reading!