At the Highland Games ScotFestBC


“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

ScotFestBC 2022

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.

ScotFestBC 2022

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.

ScotFestBC 2022

This is your invitation to join me at ScotFestBC, the 2022 British Columbia Highland Games, which is commemorating their 90th anniversary this year. The tartans and kilts, the Clan tents, and the food trucks are just over the hill.

The bagpipes are calling!


ScotFestBC 2022

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

44 thoughts on “At the Highland Games ScotFestBC

    1. I am delighted that you joined me at the Games. What I didn’t mention was the Piobaireachd or ceòl mòr bagpipe competition that was held on Friday the night before the Games. You would be interested in the history of this form of art music. But that is another, very complex story.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I love looking back in history! I often wonder how the dates are identified. I do know that Scara Brae in Orkney was occupied from roughly 3,180BC to 2500 BC, which were before Stonehenge or even the Egyptian pyramids were built. The more recent history of the Games dates back to around 1040. There was a pause with the Jacobite uprising, with the renewal coming in the 1800’s. Thank you so much for joining me at the Highland Games. Very much appreciated.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. That is exactly what it feels like Martina – “away from everyday life!” It felt as if I had travelled to Scotland for the day and returned home without any jet lag. I am delighted that you were a travel companion! Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am delighted that you joined me at the Highland Games. You would have been very very interested in the Leith Davis’s presentation on the Jacobite history. Robert Forbes, a minister, risked everything to capture eyewitness accounts of the Jacobite flight from Culloden, which he named, ‘The Lyon in Mourning’. As Leith says, he recorded the story of the “losers”. https://www.nls.uk/about-us/publications/discover/2009/lyon-in-mourning/

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Hello, dear Rebecca. You might not believe it, but in some cities in Germany, they do it the same. Even in a village in our neighbourhood. I love both; Irish and Scottish folks, and if I don’t participate in their games, I appreciate them. Thank you for showing these games from British Colombia.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I read that Germany celebrates the Highland Games – how wonderful to know that your village holds one as well. I tried to play the chanter a few years ago, which is at the beginning stage before you play the bagpipes. I couldn’t get any sound out of the instrument. YIKES! Like you, I love to be in the audience applauding all the participants. Many thanks for your comments and visit!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted you joined me Margaret. I love our adventures together. What is most interesting is that the Scots were among the first Europeans to establish themselves in Canada and are the third largest ethnic group in the the Country. In the 2016 census, about 14 recent of the population listed themselves as being of Scottish origin. Our first Prime Minister came from Glasgow. Our first bank presidents were Scots and we have a province named Nova Scotia.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad that you came along on this adventures. The bagpipers, highland dancers and country dancers, and other musicians, have created amazing communities that foster creativity, hard work and strong friendships that continue through life.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. So delightful! I really enjoy the sound of the pipers, the discipline and regiments, non-military that is. The caber toss is an amazing feat of strength, although I must confess to prefer watching curling, a finesse sport. 🙂 Your enthusiasm is always contagious, Rebecca.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always hold my breath when anyone does the caber toss. You would enjoy the story of how Queen Victoria established her “piper.” It all began in 1843 when she and Prince Albert visited the Marquess of Breadalbane at Taymouth Castle a year earlier and discovered the Marquess had his own personal piper. She wrote to her mother that she wanted to have a personal piper too – “We have heard nothing but bagpipes since we have been in the beautiful Highlands and I have become so fond of it that I mean to have a Piper, who can if you like it, pipe every night at Frogmore.” Queen Victoria. Sending hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I read that the Queen’s ‘Royal Bagpiper’ plays for her every morning at Balmoral, starting at 9am promptly. The music goes on for 15 minutes. That would be an very interesting wake-up call!!!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I have commented elsewhere, but I would like to add here that I have listened and watched this with so much interest several times again. It is a beautiful video and the sound is extraordinary! What great talent and musicianship, and the marching is perfect, not a step out of place! ! Thank you for sharing, this beautiful video! !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so glad that you joined me at the Games and the video. It is was perfect day for the event – not too hot and not too cold. While I didn’t include the food trucks in my video, they were there and serving delicious food. And I did splurge on a huge ice cream cone!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Egads! The pipes, the pipes and drums…I love them!
    This is a wonderful post, Rebecca.
    Of course the traditional sports of choice are beyond my capabilities. That log throw is awesome.
    Maybe…. I could wear a helmet and protective armour, and be the log?
    The Resa toss?
    Oh, oh and a gown on top.
    Just a thought. The Art Gown toss!
    Yes, I am silly, but in the end you, and the Scots are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I LOVE the idea of The Art Gown Toss, especially if you are tossing one of your gowns my way. Oh, that’s right – you have given me Palazzo Pants, which I have been wearing non-stop. I am delighted that you joined me at the Games and celebrating all things Scottish. But I noticed the food trucks were wonderfully diverse. I had perogies and they were absolutely delicious. Sending many hugs back your way. Did you know that there is vegetarian haggis!!! LOL

      Liked by 2 people

      1. When I was a kid, my Polish descended mom would make perogies once a month. After the initial servings (mine was about 18) we were like starving dogs growling for the leftover perogies.
        I would eat at least 22. Now, 2 and I’m good for 2-3 days.
        Vegetarian Haggis…. still not tempted.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. HI Rebecca, it is quite amazing that they have this amazing festival in Canada. There must be a lot of people of Scottish ancestor in Canada. I enjoyed your video commentary very much and was most intrigued by the games especially the pole throwing. The bands are marvelous.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Scottish immigration to Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries was due to the Highland Clearances that took place during that time. Thousands of crofters were forcibly evicted from their land by those who wanted more profitable intensive sheep-farming or dear hunting. It was a wonderful time to consider Canada as a place to call home.. Canada had plenty of land and jobs and new opportunities. I understand that Canada had a recruitment initiative to bring more people over to our side of the world. Our first Prime Minister came from Glasgow. Nova Scotia or “New Scotland” was a nod to Scotland. Even one of our banks are called The Bank of Nova Scotia. I am delighted that you joined me at the Highland Games, Robbie.

      Liked by 1 person

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