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Scotland: Highland Games – Rick Steves’ Europe Travel Guide – Travel Bite

Scotland: Highland Games – Rick Steves’ Europe Travel Guide – Travel Bite


Along with ritual and pageantry, some festivals originated
with a more practical purpose: to train their men
to be fit for battle. Warriors — whether
in ancient Greece, competing in the Olympics, or clansmen gathering
here in Scotland — would go at it on the field. And today, communities
throughout Scotland still host the Highland Games, where kilted athletes from
the surrounding countryside gather to show off their speed,
strength, and grace. ♪♪ A Highland Games is
an all-day celebration of local sport and culture, like a track meet and
a county fair rolled into one. It’s a fine day out
for the family. With a soundtrack of
traditional Scottish music, and clan pride showing itself
in the tartan patterns, the community cheers on
the athletes and dancers. [ Bagpipes play ] The day’s events
typically kick off with the arrival
of a parading pipe band, led by the local clan chieftain. After a lap around the field,
the competition begins. In the heavy events — billed as feats
of Highland strength — brawny, kilted athletes
push their limits. -Aah!
-In the weight throw, competitors spin
like bulky ballerinas before releasing
a heavy ball on a chain. The hammer throw involves
a similar technique with an iron ball
on a long stick. And the “stone put” has been
adopted in international sports as the shot put. In this event, Highlanders
swing a 56-pound weight over a horizontal bar that keeps getting
higher and higher. ♪♪ And, of course,
there’s the caber toss: Pick up a giant log,
called a “caber,” get a running start and release it end-over-end
with enough force to make the caber flip
all the way over and land at
the 12 o’clock position. Meanwhile, the track events run
circles around all that muscle. The races offer fun
for all those attending — including events for the kids. [ Gunshot ] And visitors from faraway lands
are welcome to join in, as well. Okay, I think
I’ve found my sport. Lifting what’s called
a “manhood stone” is a standard part
of these games. Brawny lads impress their girls
with a show of strength. Why not? That’s good. Thank you. With a wee glass of courage, competitors lift and carry
the 250-pound stone or, at least,
give it a good try. I taught this guy
everything he knows. [ Indistinct conversations ] [ Crowd cheers ] ♪♪ There’s always a show-off. And it’s not all brute strength. Highland dancing shows off
both athleticism and grace. With years of practice,
young girls dance with an impressive
confidence and fluidity. A lone piper accompanies
serious wee dancers who toe their routines
with intense concentration. Within a few years,
they’ll likely be dancing with the same mastery
as the older girls.

Comments (25)

  1. Love it! many friends are Scottish 🙂

  2. Few sounds evoke Scotland more than that of a lone piper.

  3. Your choice of ways to get a hernia!

  4. Such games are held outside Scotland as well. Anyone in Oregon (or nearby in Washington) who's interested should look up the Athena Caledonian Games.

  5. Thanks for the video Steve.

  6. That tiny dancing Scottish girl has got to be one of the cutest things I've ever seen. Reminds me of my niece at that age.

  7. Hi dear Steve how r you its amazing activity

  8. I would have liked to be there…

  9. Ha! Looks fun ? Great Sport Steve ! :)) My Ancestory comes from France Dad side and Germin my mother's Dad Side ..think some Dutch. So Wounderful to see all these different Cultures ..Thanks Steve ?

  10. wlh c bien vive les cours d’anglais

  11. Helo from France!!

  12. 3*D le sang de la veine con mino

  13. J'ai envie d'avoir une jupe rouge moi

  14. We have highland games here in Maryville, Tennessee in the US. Our area was settled by mainly Scottish settlers because it reminded them so much of home.

  15. мускулистые , убитые спортсмены раздвигают свои пределы . Топ перевод на русском !

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