Highland Games

Several sports feature prominently in the many Highland Games held in Scotland and oversees each year between May and September. The peak months are July and August with more than 30 events in each.

Highland Games - Celtic Link - Home of the Celts

Some are small affairs with just the local community participating, while others attract hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators.

The biggest event is reckoned to be the Cowal Highland Gathering, held at Dunoon to the west of Glasgow at the end of August, attracting some 23,000 visitors. Another favourite is the Braemar Gathering in Aberdeenshire on the first Saturday in September. Members of the Royal Family are regular visitors.

Many of the Highland Games sports are to be seen nowhere else. Events are divided between heavy - tossing the caber, hammer throwing, shot put - and light - running, tug o’ war, dancing.

The caber toss is as Scottish as haggis and is the Games' iconic event. Competitors lift a full-length Sots pine log from the bottom and attempt to toss it end over end to land as close to the 12 o’clock point as possible.

Other sports such as the hammer throw and shot put reflect their military origins.

But it’s not all bearded men flexing their muscles. Traditional music and dance is as much a part of the Highland Games experience as the sports, and livestock parades and competitions are also popular.

Highland Games are also popular overseas, with dozens of events each year in the United States, Canada and elsewhere.

Links: 

Scottish Highland Games Association - http://www.shga.co.uk/