“It’s said the Highland Games originate from Ireland in 2000 BC and that they crossed the water to Scotland with the fourth and fifth century migrations of the Scotti into Dalriada (Argyll) and beyond.Scotland.org
The Highland Games is one of Scotland’s oldest and most treasured traditions. It is a celebration of Scottish and Celtic Culture that has come through centuries of political uncertainty and turbulence to become a global event. Highland Games are held in Canada, the United States, Brazil, New Zealand, Australia and the list goes on.
Bagpipe music has become the symbol of the Highland Games. The vibrant sound of the bagpipe bands stirs the imagination and harkens back to the mists of the Scottish Highlands. But there is a diversity of music that comes with the fiddle, harp and Celtic bands that tempt passersby to join in the singing. The Highland dancers seems to levitate high in the air, and the Scottish country dancers fascinate audiences with their progressive patterns.
The Highland Games include athletic and sports competitions with unusual names such as the Sheaf toss, Maide-leisg (from the Scots Gaelic), and the Scottish hammer throw. Perhaps the most well-known event is the Caber toss when the competitor attempts to toss a long, and very heavy, log end over end. The larger (upper) end must touch the ground first. The smaller end, which was held by the competitor, should hit the ground in the 12 o’clock position measured relative to the direction of the run. These events are complex and difficult.