Scottish Inter-Faith Week begins today; its theme this year is Journeys, and the programme includes films about young women from different faiths and about the journey of the soul, a mindfulness session, talks on religious freedom and on Middle Eastern Art at the British Museum, a discussion about the role of meditation in religion, an inter-faith Shabbat service, Faith Exchange – and a perennial favourite, The Big Inter-Faith Quiz. The opening event is today at the University of Edinburgh Chaplaincy and will feature a variety of speakers and performers; 4.30-5.30pm, 5 Bristo Square. It will be followed by a dinner reception open to all, 5.30-6.30pm at the same venue. Please email Sakina@eifa.org.uk if you wish to attend the dinner. Full week’s programme here.
Marchmont Playgroups’s Christmas Fun Day! Free Monkey Music sessions, Meet Santa, mulled wine, chocolate and bottle tombolas, raffle, face painting, games, lucky dip, biscuit decorating, children’s tattoos, refreshments. 2-4.30pm, Marchmont St Giles’ Church, Kilgraston Road. Entry £2, children 5+ £1.
Filmhouse Junior: films for a younger audience. Today: Belle and Sebastian (PG). 11am, Filmhouse, Lothian Road. Tickets £3.50 per person, big or small.
Storytelling – Stargazing Stories: throughout the world people tell stories about the stars in the sky, why they have particular names and how they got there. Join storyteller and musician Marion Kenny in the Great Hall of the Portrait Gallery, gaze up at the constellations on the ceiling overhead whilst being transported through the cosmos with traditional tales and tunes from around the globe. For ages 7+. 2pm or 3pm (45 minute sessions), Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 1 Queen Street. Free and unticketed.
Meet Your Maker: Textiles and Ceramics. Join craftmakers in celebration of Scottish craft as they showcase the design, processes and techniques behind their work. Independent designer Laura Spring invites you to drop in during the morning to have a go at producing a two colour pattern sample onto fabric, using the Museum’s collection as inspiration. Ceramicist Frances Priest will answer your questions on working with clay and get creative in the production of a large-scale collaborative artwork – experiment with drawing and mark-making on clay. Ursula Hunter will introduce you to the craft of lino-printing. From 2pm to 3pm Laura Spring and Ursula Hunter will be in conversation with the Museum’s Assistant Curator, Art & Design, Sarah Rothwell. Please note times of demonstrations will vary and some artists will not be available at certain times – see website for details. Textiles and ceramics sessions are free and offered on a drop-in, first come, first served basis; the ‘in conversation’ event is also free but booking is required via the NMS website or by contacting the information desk. 10am-4pm, National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street.
Winter Guided Walk: join a Garden Guide for a leisurely afternoon walk around the Garden, discover stunning seasonal highlights and learn about the history of the Garden and its plants. For ages 14+. 2pm, meet at John Hope Gateway, Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh, Inverleith Row. £5 per person; no advance booking needed.
Botanical Treasures: join RBGE staff to view some of the hidden gems from the Garden’s collections, and hear the stories behind the objects chosen for the latest RBGE publication, Botanical Treasures. For ages 12+. 12.30-3.30pm, Real Life Science Studio, John Hope Gateway, Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh, Inverleith Row. Free.
St Giles’ at Six: Festal Evensong sung by the combined choirs of St Giles’, St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral and Paisley Abbey. 6pm, St Giles’ Cathedral, High Street. Free: retiring collection.