With their roots planted firmly in the Middle Ages, the Highland Games in Scotland are a celebration of Scottish history, culture, athleticism, and art. Originally intended as a county fair of sorts, it was an opportunity for the various clansmen, and of course the chiefs, to show off their physical prowess to impress each other and the many ladies who came to watch the activities. Frivolity and merriment follow the festival goers as they walk from one event to the next waiting to see who would be the winner of the next competition. Highland Games are held throughout the year, often sponsored by the different clans and named in their honor. Thought the main draw are the myriad athletic challenges, there is also music, food, dancing, and more to entertain young and old.
Aside from the sporting events, prepare to hear lots or rousing bag pipe music. Bands of bag pipers make their way throughout the festival grounds at the Highland Games each more beautiful than the next. You can also expect fiddlers, harpists, and other impresarios entertaining the many visitors come to see the games. With all this music, you can guarantee that there is plenty of dancing and singing being done by festival goers. Although the games are held throughout the year, the largest and most famous of these is the Cowal Highland Gathering which attracts some 20,000 visitors and over 3,000 competitors to the late August event. Previous years have even seen world famous bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers entertaining the masses. So grab a spot of whisky and a kilt and make your way to Scotland for great fun, great food, great music, and lots and lots of burley men showing the crowds what has made Scotland so special for thousands of years.
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