Highland Games

* * *

Athletic games originating in the Scottish Highlands and now held there and in various parts of the world, usually under the auspices of a local Caledonian society.

Events include flat and hurdle races, long and high jumps, hammer and weight throws, and the caber toss, the hurling end-over-end of a tapered fir pole about 17 ft (5 m) long and 90 lbs (40 kg) in weight. Competitions in bagpipe playing and Highland dancing also form an important part of the meetings.

Tossing the caber at a Braemar gathering

Aberdeen Journals Ltd.

* * *

▪ athletic meetings
 originally, athletic meetings carried out in the Scottish Highlands. The name now denotes similar athletic competitions in any part of the world, usually conducted under the auspices of a local Caledonian society and held according to what are believed to be traditional customs. The games originated in impromptu competitions at clan assemblies summoned by the chiefs for hunting, military exercises, and the conduct of clan business generally. The complete breakup of the clan organization after the Jacobite rebellion of 1745 put an end to these gatherings.

      The first of the modern Scottish athletic games was instituted about 90 years later at Braemar and Strathdon (the Lonach gathering). Other meetings, notably at Ballatar and Aboyne in Aberdeenshire, at Oban (the Argyll gathering), and at Dunoon (the Cowal gathering), followed between 1864 and 1871. There are currently about 40 major meetings and gatherings in Scotland alone, the Braemar gathering being the most prestigious.

 The local chief, if there is one, usually acts as president and at some gatherings is received with ceremony and escorted to his place to the music of the bagpipes. At the Lonach gathering, the clansmen, armed with pikes, follow their chief to the arena. Athletic events in the Highland Games include the usual flat and hurdle races, long and high jumps, pole vault, throwing the hammer, and tossing the weight. In these last two events, there are links with the past in the wooden shaft of the hammer (though the original hammer head is replaced by an iron ball) and in the round stone ball used for putting at many games. An exclusively Highland event is tossing the caber, a tapered fir pole about 17 feet (5 m) long and about 90 pounds (40 kg) in weight that must be thrown so that it turns end over end and comes to rest with the small end pointing away from the thrower. Competitors in tossing the weight and tossing the caber (caber, tossing the) must wear the kilt. Competitions in bagpipe music and Highland dancing also form an important part of the meetings.
 

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Highland Games — in Stirling: Hammerwerfen Highland Games in Stirli …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Highland Games — plural noun An event consisting of competitions in athletic sports, bagpiping, traditional dancing, etc held in the Scottish Highlands or by Scots in other places • • • Main Entry: ↑high * * * ˌHighland ˈGames 7 [Highland Games] noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • Highland Games — also Highland Gathering a special event held every year in Scottish towns, with traditional Scottish sports, dancing, and music. The sports include tossing the caber (=throwing a long, heavy wooden pole into the air) …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Highland games — Opening ceremonies of 2004 Canmore Highland games Highland games are events held throughout the year in Scotland and other countries as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands.… …   Wikipedia

  • Highland Games — Jeux écossais en Amérique du Nord Les jeux des Highlands (Highland Games en anglais) sont des évènements sportifs se déroulant tout au long de l année, en Écosse et dans d autres pays, et dont le but est de célébrer la culture écossaise, et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Highland Games —    The Highland Games (or ‘Heavy Events’), one of the most enduring images of Scotland today, help preserve forms of traditional Celtic sport and include events for men and women. The most famous event is tossing the caber, but others include… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • Highland games — noun Festivals held throughout the year and in many countries of the world whose purpose is to celebrate the culture and heritage of Scotland and especially the Scottish Highlands …   Wiktionary

  • Highland Games — plural noun a meeting for athletic events, playing of the bagpipes, and dancing, held in the Scottish Highlands or by Scots elsewhere …   English new terms dictionary

  • Highland games competitors — Highland Games Competitors:The Scottish Highland Games, held mainly in Scotland, the United States, New Zealand, Iceland and Canada, are a place of social, cultural, and athletic gathering. These athletes work hard in these competitions, and the… …   Wikipedia

  • Highland Games Schweizer Meisterschaften — «wùy ù ay» Highland Games Land Schweiz …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.