Highland Games

Highland Games

Now it's Scottish

No, if you see strong men in short skirts, throwing tree trunks in the air, you do not necessarily suffer from hallucinations. If they are skirts with the typical Scottish check pattern, they are traditional kilts and you have probably landed at a venue of the so-called Highland Games. This ur-Scottish spectacle is currently experiencing an unimagined boom in Germany. Right, as we think. In addition to the impressive competitions in different disciplines, there is usually a wide range of music, food and a typical Scottish cultural program. More folk festival than Olympia and an absolutely family-friendly excursion destination at the weekend. But what is it really about?

The origin of Highland Games

The Highland Games tradition is based on the tribal culture of the Scottish clans. In the case of so-called gatherings, the members of the various clans met and measured their strength in the competition. In the opinion of different historians, Gatherings served purely martial purposes before the time of Christ. In the competition, the best and strongest warriors of the respective clans were to be determined in order to be able to muster the most powerful troops in the next feud (of which there were plenty).

First historical evidence from the Highland Games is from the 11th century. Under the Scottish king Malcolm lll, the Games were first presented and documented as a "Royal Competition". In the following centuries, the number of Highland Games continued to increase, and they were growing in popularity and popularity. This development was abruptly interrupted by the Battle of Culloden in 1746. After the defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie the British forbade all activities of the Scottish clans. Only in 1781 could a Highland Gathering be held again and since that time the tradition again settled in the whole of Scotland.

The disciplines of the Highland Games

The approximately 30 individual disciplines in the classic Highland Games are divided into 10 different categories. Although the emphasis is on the most powerful forms of competition, the musical and dancers' disciplines contribute to the festive character of the events. The 10 categories are:

  • Running (running and walking competitions)
  • Tug-o-War (rope / tug-warp)
  • Cycling (bicycle railing)
  • Lightfield Events
  • Wrestling (Wrestling)
  • Hillrace (kiddy with kilt)
  • Heavyweights and Heavy-Events
  • Highland Dancing (dance contest)
  • Pipe Band Contest (Band Contest)
  • Solo Piping (single performance with bagpipe)

The competitions in the disciplines of the heavyweights are without a doubt one of the most spectacular moments of the Highland Games. In particular, the discipline "Tossing the Caber" has become the symbol of Scottish sports. It is necessary to raise a tree trunk of almost six meters in length and weigh up to 60 kilograms vertically and to throw them away. It is not the width that determines the quality of the throw, but the type and angle of the surplus. Other disciplines of the Heavyweights category are:

  • Weight For Distance (a kind of hammer throw), weight: 13 to 25 kilograms
  • Weight For Height, weight: 25 kg
  • Putting The Stone (stone-throw), weight: 7.5 to 10 kilograms
  • Farmer's Walk (walking with weights in the hands), weight: 70 kilograms each
  • Sheaf Toss (Heusack-Weitwurf)

This listing makes it clear: Highland Games are not for the sissies. This is where real alpha guys meet and measure their bear forces. For the Highland Games taking place in Germany, women are also taking part, but they remain in their own class. In the end, of course, the party is celebrated together.

AP Donovan's team is proud to be the first active supporter of the Highland Games in 2017: Yves Gerlinger, known in the scene better than Wildboars Randy . Yves is the winner of our Alpha Challenge 2016 and has been a successful heavyweights contestant for many Highland Games for years. Also this season he is already registered for various events and will be there in shirts by AP Donovan. We keep you up-to-date via Facebook, of course. So Wildboars Randy: "Go for it! Toss the Caber! "

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Published : 05/19/2017 14:36:19