Highland Games


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Highland Games

Dates vary
Originally impromptu athletic competitions carried out in the Scottish Highlands as part of a clan gathering, Highland games are now held all over the world, usually under the auspices of a local Caledonian society. Although the Jacobites put an end to the clan assemblies in 1745, the tradition of the games survived, and the first of the modern gatherings was held 90 years later at Braemar ( see Braemar Highland Gathering). Today there are about 40 major gatherings in Scotland alone, as well as in Tauranga, New Zealand, and in several American communities such as Goshen, Connecticut, and Alexandria, Virginia, where there is a strong Anglo-Scottish presence.
Events at most Highland gatherings include flat and hurdle races, long and high jumps, pole vaulting, throwing the hammer, and tossing the weight (a round stone ball). A unique Highland event is tossing the caber, a tapered fir pole that must be thrown so that it turns end over end and comes to rest with the small end pointing away from the thrower. Competitors who toss the weight or the caber must wear a traditional Scottish kilt. There are also competitions in bagpipe music and Highland dancing.
See also Alma Highland Festival and Games; Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans; and Virginia Scottish Games
CONTACTS:
Scottish Tourist Board
23 Ravelston Terr.
Edinburgh, Scotland EH43EU United Kingdom
44-13-1332-2433; fax: 44-13-1315-4545
www.visitscotland.com
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 147
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