The Highland Games, Scotland’s most traditional tradition|Patrick Sacco|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

  • 2017.07.20
  • The Highland Games, Scotland’s most traditional tradition
What do you get if you gather strong Scottish athletes, local communities and international visitors? The famous Scottish Highland Games!

With their traditional sporting games such as the rope launch and the trunk launch, the mud races and the track and field competitions, the Highland games are a true spectacle and they are one of the longest standing traditions in Scotland. To add to the magic, everything takes place in a typical Scottish setting, that of the Highlands’ moorland.

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the Scottish moorland is the theatre of the Highland Games


When do the games take place?

The Highland games combine sports, fun and culture in a typical Scottish style and take place on most summer weekends from May to September. You can attend one of the over 80 Highland Games taking place on the islands or in the cities, villages and settlements across the area. Even some castles host the games and needless to say the setting here is simply amazing.

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Games are often used for the Highland Games


What are the Highland Games really about?

The Games have ancient origins and they used to be an important demonstration of strength for the participants. Strength tests include launching and throwing a heavy hammer in the air or rolling a trunk up and down a hill, while endurance tests include biking for many kilometres on a rough terrain.
An authentic Highland game combines sports, fun and culture, all featuring an absolutely Scottish touch. The trunk launch, probably the most representative event of the games, is said to derive from the ancient need to launch trunks beyond ravines. Nowadays, it has become an activity judged by style rather than distance: competitors have to throw a trunk, which can weigh up to 70 pounds, so that it falls in the 12 o’clock position. The distance travelled is absolutely irrelevant.
World records are regularly exceeded in the Highland Games and just last year, a new Guinness World Record was held in the Inverness Heavyweight Athletics Championship, where most of the trunks were launched at the same time. More than 160 kilt athletes took part in the event, with 66 trunks successfully launched.

Back in the past, clan members used to compete against each other and clans represented teams. Although the clan (family affinity) is not as important as it used to be in the past, the presence of clans in the games has a ceremonial and social value. Some of the Highland Games are part of a wider gathering of clans, a celebratory meeting of important Scottish families accompanied by parades, Scottish music, banquets and traditional events.

Did you know that Baron Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, was so impressed by the Highland specialties that he decided to introduce the hammer throwing into the Olympics?
This specialty is still included in the Olympic program and this is just one of the many fascinating events of the Highland Games.

For many, one of the most memorable moments of the Highland Games is when several musical bands with hundreds of drumsticks and drums gathered together are marching in unison. The bagpipe is of course playing an important role in the Games too being the Scottish musical instrument par excellence!

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bagpipes and kilts are protagonists of the Games


At the Games, the dancers exhibit their ability in Scottish dances, such as the sword dance and the typical Highland fling dance. Dancers compete both as individuals and groups showing their colourful costumes and contagious energy. The Games attract some of the best artists from around the world who compete in championships in the United Kingdom and worldwide.

Games and sports have been part of Scottish culture for centuries. Some believe that the origins of the Highland Games date back to the 11th century when King Malcolm III set up a race on the slopes of Braemar, hoping to find the fastest runner so he could become his personal vassal.
The modern structure of the Highland Games we know today has been celebrated throughout Scotland since 1800 and attracts hundreds of thousands of people every year.


REPOTER

  • Patrick Sacco
  • AgeBird(TORI)
  • GenderMale
  • JobENGINEER AT ELLIOT & CO CONSULTING

HELLO! MY NAME IS PATRICK AND I LIVE IN EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, WHERE I WORK AS A CIVIL ENGINEER AND I’M ALSO AN AMATEUR POET IN MY SPARE TIME. I MOVED TO SCOTLAND ABOUT 9 YEARS AGO FROM ITALY AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT. SOME PEOPLE DON’T LIKE THE RAINY WEATHER BUT IT’S THIS TYPE OF WEATHER WHICH ALLOWS THIS REGION TO BE SO LUSH AND GREEN. WHENEVER I HAVE THE CHANCE I TAKE MY CAR TO THE COUNTRYSIDE AND I GO EXPLORE THE MANY LAKES AND VALLEYS AROUND EDINBURGH.

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