Come celebrate Scottish culture and heritage in the highland games at Aviemore, Loch Ness and other communities in the highlands. The games originated in the eleventh century in Braemar, when the Scottish King Malcolm III held a race to find the speediest foot runner, the winner to be his royal messenger. The Isle of Skye and the Braemar Games are held annually. The essence of the famous Scottish games is recognized in Canada and the United States, where many places hold their own versions. This is the perfect time to visit the games- forget about all the boring jobs you need to do at home- you can renew your insurance policies and easily switch bank account when you get back!
Tossing the caber Root for your favourite competitor as they turn the caber. A caber is a long tapered pole or log, which the contestant balances upright in his palms. Then, he (or she) runs forward trying to toss it so that it turns end over and over with the upper end hitting the ground first. Once the smaller end hits the ground in the 12 o’clock position, the distance is measured relative to the direction of the run, the best tosses are those when the caber lands close to the 12 o’clock on an imaginary clock. It is an art to achieve the caber toss and, like most tools in the games they vary in size, weight and height.
The Stone Put Join the crowd in cheering the winner of the stone put. Similar to the shot put event in the Olympics, only a stone is thrown instead. According to the Braemar games there are two techniques to use, a glide or a spin, either one is allowed at their event.
The Scottish Hammer Throw Watch competitor’s as they whirl a metal ball which is fastened to the end of a rod and then throw it over their shoulder. Some competitors may wear footwear to dig into the turf and keep their balance. The ball is thrown, and the distance is measured and recorded.
The Sheaf Throw Argued as more of a country fair event, this is still fun to watch. The contestant sticks a burlap sack of straw and throws it with a pitchfork over his head.
Music and Dance
Listen to a Scottish pipe band at the opening ceremonies, as many as twenty pipe bands may play and march together, creating a thunderous rendition of tunes, such as Scotland the Brave or Amazing Grace. Bagpipes, drums and solo piping can be heard and even competitive events. And even local fiddlers or harp circles find their qualities at such proceedings.
What can be an event without Scottish dancing? The pleasure to watch Scottish dancers and weave steps in time is second to none. The Cowal Highland Gathering hosts the annual World Championship Highland Dancing Competition. This event garners the best competitive dancers from all over the world to attempt for the title.
The highland games can be a wonderful opportunity to experience history and culture, through Scottish clan societies and tents giving a visitor even more depth to the greatness of the Scottish highlands.
Travel tip: make sure you book travel arrangements well in advance. Train and flight prices increase heavily as the time gets nearer. In most cases you will need to make payment by credit or debit card, so make sure you consider all your online bank account options to make sure you are getting the best deal.