Scottish Highland Games: Explained

Dating back to the early days of clan gatherings, the Scottish Highland Games is an undeniable pillar of Scottish heritage. Hosted annually during the summer months, the Highland Games brings towns and villages from across Scotland together to spectate this Scottish tradition, with competitors of the sporting events travelling from all over the world to take part in the games.

The first Scottish Highland Games is thought to have been hosted by Malcom Canmore in the 11th century, when clan chieftains would select their strongest men to compete. This tradition continued until the 19th century, following the failed Jacobite rebellions when the Highland culture became suppressed, causing the Highland Games to be almost eradicated.

However, Queen Victoria resurrected the games as she introduced the Braemar Gathering in 1832, which is now celebrated globally in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and several other places. A traditional modern day Scottish Highland Games will begin with a Chieftains Parade where a procession will be led by the Chieftain of the games, followed by local pipe bands, athletes and highland dancers.

Following this, the sporting events of the day begin, including the most renowned heavy event, the Caber Toss, which involves the participant throwing a large timber pole with the aim of landing it at a 12 o’clock position. Other heavy events include the hammer throw, which is now an official event at the Olympics, weight for height, and the stone punt. There are also track and field events which take place including cycling and running, with the opportunity for spectators to compete, giving you a chance to be a part of the Scottish Highland Games, so don’t miss it!

Highland dancing also takes place throughout the day with dancers of all ages showcasing the traditional Highland Fling and the Sword Dance to the crowds gathered. The dancing is also accompanied by the famous bagpipes alongside several pipe bands, drummers and solo piping competitions throughout the day, which fill the atmosphere with patriotic rhythms. Whether you are taking part or spectating, Scottish Highland Games is a truly magnificent collaboration of both Scottish tradition and community spirit, allowing Scottish heritage to remain alive and integrated in the lives and cultures of generations to come.

First ever NESD Celtic Faire Compilation CD is now available online!

Our first ever compilation CD is available for shipping in the United States!
Just head over to https://nesdcelticfaire.com/…/cairde-a-celtic-compilation/ Shipping is included in the cost!
By ordering this CD from us you are supporting the artists that had to stay home and our 501c3 nonprofit that is ran 100% by volunteers.
☘Local pick up is available right now at Slackers! ☘

Guthrie School of Dance returns to the 2021 NESD Celtic Faire

Guthrie School of Dance was born out of a dream to foster an inclusive atmosphere where students could learn about the heritage and art of Scottish dance, from Highland and Country dancing to forms of step dance that eventually became Cape Breton Step and Clogging as Scots immigrated around the world.

Scottish dance and music are rich with stories, like the heavy games, the sheer athleticism in Highland dance is hard to beat, and the subtle influences of other cultures makes Scottish dance a treat to watch and participate in.

Join Guthrie School of Dance and get lost in the wonderful traditions of Scotland and Scots around the world. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram @GuthrieSchoolofDance and be sure to come to the Northeast South Dakota Celtic Faire to try your hand at a Fling, a jig or just to enjoy a great day of dancing and music.

Guthrie School of Dance was founded in 2006 after director, Kristy Van Hoven, discovered there was a lack of classes and opportunities for dancers who wished to dance after retiring from competitive dance. Upon receiving her credentials from the Scottish Dance Teachers Alliance, Kristy embarked on a mission to make Scottish dance available to anyone who wished to dance. She now teaches online and in person with students in Scotland, Canada and the United States with students competing and demonstrating Highland, Country and Step dance around the world.

Highland Heavy Games sign up is open! NESD CELTIC FAIRE & GAMES

The games are taking applications! Sign up to pay the $40 fee on the day of by clicking here or use Paypal/CC at  our  official  shop  or  call  Bart  Walker  for  more info  605-228-1206

Happy St Patricks Day from NESD Celtic Faire & Highland Games

Saint Patrick’s Day, feast day (March 17) of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century, he was kidnapped at the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped but returned about 432 to convert the Irish to Christianity. By the time of his death on March 17, 461, he had established monasteries, churches, and schools. Many legends grew up around him—for example, that he drove the snakes out of Ireland and used the shamrock to explain the Trinity. Ireland came to celebrate his day with religious services and feasts.
It was emigrants, particularly to the United States, who transformed St. Patrick’s Day into a largely secular holiday of revelry and celebration of things Irish. Cities with large numbers of Irish immigrants, who often wielded political power, staged the most extensive celebrations, which included elaborate parades. Boston held its first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1737, followed by New York City in 1762. Since 1962 Chicago has coloured its river green to mark the holiday. (Although blue was the colour traditionally associated with St. Patrick, green is now commonly connected with the day.) Irish and non-Irish alike commonly participate in the “wearing of the green”—sporting an item of green clothing or a shamrock, the Irish national plant, in the lapel. Corned beef and cabbage are associated with the holiday, and even beer is sometimes dyed green to celebrate the day. Although some of these practices eventually were adopted by the Irish themselves, they did so largely for the benefit of tourists. – History of St. Patricks Day

And to celebrate our connection to this historical connection, please enjoy the wonderful song by our friends The Wild Colonial Bhoys