One of Scotland’s greatest sports traditions is the Highland Games, which take place all over Scotland in May and September. It’s a vibrant tale of athletics, culture, and camaraderie—a celebration of Scotland’s past and legacy, particularly in the Scottish Highlands, where clans would engage in competitions centered around prowess and power.
Despite originating in Scotland, the Scottish Highland Games are not exclusive to people of Scottish descent. Given that there are competitions for dancing and bagpiping, anyone can enjoy them, even those who are not athletes—occasions where athletics and culture are together.
What Games are Included in the Scottish Highland Games?
There are more than 55 games in Scotland Highland Games Sports Festival, in which some of them are:
- Braemar Gathering
- Caber toss
- Throwing the hammer
- Tug o’ War Shinty
- The Ba’ Game
- Stone Skimming
- Shot Put
During these events, Highlands Dancing is performed, which calls for a high level of expertise, the endurance, strength, and stamina of an athlete, and the artistic ability of a dancer. It is the world’s most advanced style of national dancing.
The Braemar Gathering is an incredible event annually on the first Saturday in September. It is Scotland’s most well-known and well-attended Highland Games, with heavy events including the legendary tug-of-war, hurling of the hammer, and caber toss.
Among these games, the Caber Toss is the most well-known. Participants launch a large, heavy wooden post in a display of strength to align it at the proper angle rather than send it the farthest.
Throwing the Hammer
In the game “Hammer Throwing,” players toss a hammer a considerable distance and then use both hands to throw it in a circle. It is constructed from a metal ball weighing 22 and 15 pounds, depending on the gender, and is fastened to a wooden handle.
Tug o’ War
The most captivating and traditional summer camp activity is tug-of-war when two players or teams compete to outshine each other by pulling on a rope with more force. You already know that “the louder you cheer, the stronger your pull on the rope will be,” so it’s an excellent addition to the event.
Shinty is a team sport where success depends more than on individual player performance and demands a consistent, organized effort from all team members. Shinty is a sport that many people in the Highlands pay special attention to during the events because it has been played for many generations. It is a rough-and-tumble sport not for the faint of heart and is believed to have originated from warriors trained in warfare.
The Ba’ Game
Ba’ is a street football game practiced on holidays, including Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and most other festive seasons. It is played similarly to football. The entire town participates in the game, and in Orkney, it begins on Broad Street with the goalpost located on the opposite side of the community. The first team wins by using the ba’ to touch down at the goal on the opposing side.
Stone skimming is a much-loved and much-awaited event at any Highland games, even though it’s a game performed by kids at lakes. Aim, accuracy, and technique are all necessary, and every year on Easdale Island, there’s a World Stone Skimming Championship. You have plenty of time to prepare before the competition because you can practice this game on any body of water at any moment.
Do you want to practice throwing something heavy with some force? Then, shot put is a sport in which a player uses a shot, which is a hefty spherical item. It’s a track and field competition that calls for tremendous muscle strength and excellent body balance.
Since Team Scottish Attire is always happy to assist customers in making their Highland Games more meaningful and special, you are welcome to request any customization or specifications, including buttons, tartan patterns, large and tall kilts, or anything else that comes to mind.