Wikipedia says this of the ceilidh in general:
"A traditional Gaelic social dance originating in Ireland and Scotland, but now common throughout the Celtic diaspora."
And it says this about Scottish ceilidhs in particular:
"Privately organised ceilidh's...are extremely common in Scotland, where bands are hired, usually for evening entertainment for a wedding, birthday party or other celebratory events...The appeal of the Scottish ceilidh is by no means limited to the younger generation, and dances vary in speed and complexity in order to accommodate most age groups and levels of ability." (I testify that "most age groups" and "levels of ability"--i.e. lowest level...myself--participated fully.)
The "celebratory event" which occasioned My First Ceilidh was the 50th Anniversary of Canon Halloran's ordination. Some important Cardinal came to say Mass with him (which I missed...oops) and then festivities moved from St James to St Salvator's Quadrangle for a fancy dinner (which I missed) and for a ceilidh (which I did not miss). I say I did not miss it, and this is true. For I, even I, danced a Scottish dance with men in kilts and drank my gin and tonic with the best of them, thank you very much. I even managed to obtain hard evidence that, yes indeed, Father was a full participant, and danced a celebratory jig with all and sundry!
There he goes!
Everyone had a lovely time. There were almost enough men for the women--always a good thing--and almost enough kilts/cassocks for the men. We danced until midnight, when the band finished off with a rousing sing-along of Auld Lang Syne (truly!) and, finally, Father was forced to stand in the middle of a big circle while we sang "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" (truly!!). It was great. Here are some more pictures for your entertainment:
See! I was really there!!