National Highland Gatherings: Scotland

Figure 1.--Here we see some of the dancers at an unidntified Highland Games, we think during the 1950s. The boys wear beret-like balmorals. One boy wears the sailor suit used for the hornpipe.

The most well known Highland Gatherings are of course held in Scotland. They are also called Highland Games. The Games of course originated in cotland nd the stndards are set there. These events include heavy athletic events, Highland dance competitions, track and field events, and piping. The games are a spectacle and in Scotland they take place against spectacular scenic backdrops. They take place every weekend during the summer (May to September). There are over 80 Highland games taking place on islands and in towns, villages and cities all across Scotland. Some are hosted on castle grounds. The athletic events include tug-o-war, caber toss, hammer throw and weight for height. Field events include the hill race and cycling competition. Reportedly, Baron Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics, was so impressed by a Highland display he saw at the 1889 Paris Exhibition that he introduced the hammer throw, shot put and the tug o' war in his planning. One of the most impressive sights at the Highland games is the massed bands. We get to see hundreds of pipers and drummers from different groups come together to play and march in unison. The competitions include solo piping competitions, including different styles (slow, stately and the complex Pibroch). The later is considered to be the classical music of the bagpipe. Dancers at the Games offer give dazzling displays of fancy footwork in exhibiting their skills. Scottish dances include the sword dance and the iconic Highland fling. Dancers engage in both solo and group compeitions. The colourful outfits and the kinetic energy of the dancers always impress. Not only are the Scottish Championships, but the and World Championships are held in Scotland.


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Created: 1:33 PM 1/18/2017
Last updated: 1:33 PM 1/18/2017