ABSTRACT

Although the band engages in an intensive programme of parades3 and competitions within Northern Ireland, the ‘Scotland weekend’ is seen as the highlight of the year. In emotional intensity, it surpasses even Northern Ireland’s own celebrations on the Twelfth of July, and participation has a powerful bonding effect, both within the band and between band members and their Scottish hosts. Although qualitatively very different from the band’s weekto-week performances, the visit has become central to the band’s conception of its identity: the connection to the New Cumnock Orange Lodge is featured prominently on the band’s website4 and the master of the Lodge has recently

been appointed honorary president of the band.5 The annual visit to Scotland can be seen as central not only to the band’s identity, but to its continued viability as an organization, providing a focus for anticipation and an emotional reward for long nights spent practising in cold halls.6 Drawing on scholarship concerning pilgrimage, tourism, ritual and play, this chapter will suggest that Victor Turner’s development of van Gennep’s concept of liminality is useful in understanding the Scottish visit as a ritual of renewal which has material and political effects,7 but it will shift the emphasis from Victor Turner’s focus on symbolism to Edith Turner’s emphasis on emotional experience.8