Highland games have their origins in the Scottish Clan system and date back for over three hundred years. The Clan Chief would encourage his men to participate in feats of strength, skill and endurance to prove themselves skilled in battle.
While the competitive elements of the games are still an integral part of the proceedings, the spectacle of Highland dancers and pipers, combined with the colour and grandeur of the Scottish scenery, make Highland games and gatherings a highlight for every visitor to Scotland.
Highland games generally include the following events: throwing the hammer, tossing the caber, putting the shot, tug o’ war, (collectively known as heavy events), athletics/track and field events (collectively known as light events), and dancing and piping competitions.
There are usually side shows along with trade and refreshment stands. Highland games take place throughout Scotland between May and September.
There is a full programme of Highland Games across Scotland throughout the summer season. One of the most famous is held in the late summer at the Braemar Gathering, traditionally attended by the Royal Family. Most Highland Games are on a far smaller scale, and many of them are still genuine community events.
The ones within the area around Dundee include:
- Braemar Highland Games – 3rd September 2011
- Markinsch Highland Games – John Dixon Park
- Strathmore Highland Games- Glamis Castle
- Cupar Highland Games
- St Andrews Highland Games
- Royal Highland Show, Perth
- Kenmore Highland Games
- Alva Highland Games
- Ceres Highland Games – Bow Butts, Ceres
Click here for a full list of events and dates.