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. Certain aspects of the games are so well known as to have become emblematic of Scotland, such as the bagpipes, the kilt, and the heavy events, especially the caber toss. While centred on competitions in piping and drumming, dancing, and Scottish heavy athletics, the games also include entertainment and exhibits related to other aspects of Scottish and Gaelic culture.

The Cowal Highland Gathering, better known as the Cowal Games, held in Dunoon, Scotland, every August, is the largest Highland games in the world, attracting around 3,500 competitors and somewhere in the region of 23,000 spectators from around the globe. Worldwide, however, it is exceeded in terms of spectators by two gatherings in the United States: the 50,000 that attend Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina and the even larger gathering—the largest in the Northern Hemisphere—that has taken place every year since 1865 hosted by the Caledonian Club of San Francisco. This event is currently held on Labor Day weekend in Pleasanton, California.

The games are claimed to have influenced Baron Pierre de Coubertin when he was planning the revival of the Olympic Games. De Coubertin saw a display of Highland games at the Paris Exhibition of 1889.

Read more about Highland GamesHistory, Major Events in Scotland

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    Chinese proverb.

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    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)