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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.
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Come, Send Round the Wine by Thomas Moore

Come, send round the wine, and leave points of belief
To simpleton sages and reasoning fools;
This moment’s a flower too fair and brief
To be wither’d and stain’d by the dust of the schools.
Your glass may be purple, and mine may be blue,
But, while they are fill’d from the same bright bowl,
The fool who would quarrel for difference of hue,
Deserves not the comfort they shed o’er the soul.

Shall I ask the brave soldier, who fights by my side
In the cause of mankind, if our creeds agree?
Shall I give up the friend I have valued and tried,
If he kneel not before the same altar with me?
From the heretic girl of my soul should I fly?
To seek somewhere else a more orthodox kiss?
No, perish the hearts, and the laws that try
Truth, valour, or love, by a standard like this!
–Thomas Moore 

How Do You Express Celtic Heritage WITHOUT a Kilt???

There are SO many great ways to explore and express your Gaelic heritage and cultural roots!

Do Tartans Have Secret Meanings?

What do the lines in a tartan mean?
Do the colors of a tartan have specal meaning?
Does the thread count of a tartan have any meaning?
Is there a tartan code?
Why do clans have different tartans?
How do you know which tartan to wear?
Tartan (sometimes called plaid by mistake) is a patterned cloth consisting of crisscrossed threads of different colors. The number of threads is what differentiates the pattern. Over time, many people have come to believe that the shades of colors in tartan have a specific meaning – or a code. For example that “red means courage,” or “white means purity.” Is this purely myth? Yes and no. While there is no such hidden code, modern tartans are often created with the intention of ascribing meaning to some aspect of the design, especially colors.