Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Aberdeen Highland Games

I'm a few weeks behind posting pictures from the Aberdeen Highland Games, but I thought you would still enjoy hearing about it. Highland games are held throughout northern Scotland to celebrate Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage. The games are known for the kilts, bagpipes, dancing, heavy events and light events.

We didn't have the nice camera with us this day, so there aren't many pictures from the competitions, but we really enjoyed them. There were pipe bands (as pictured above) and lively highland dancing (similar to a "Riverdance" style). The dance competition was truly beautiful. And everywhere we wandered, we were surrounded by the music of bagpipes. Wonderful!

The light events include tug-o-war, racing and other competitions. But the Highland Games are better known for the heavy events: the caber toss (pictured above), stone put (similar to shot put), the hammer throw and more. I most enjoyed the caber toss and the weight over the bar throw (also called weight for height).

Joshua and Abigail loved the Mini Cooper parked in one of the shopping tents, as a giveaway for a drawing. We all enjoyed wandering through the booths looking at all the merchandise.

And then there was the food! I was very excited to check out the Abroath Smokies, a famous smoked haddock that dates back to the 1800's. The fish are smoked in halved barrels with fires underneath, trapping the smoke under layers of hessian sacking. Amazing flavor, but very difficult to eat as fair food. The wrap the whole fish (after removing the bones) in paper and hand you a fork. The juices drip out the bottom as you attempt to pull the delicious pieces of fish out. Very messy! Very good! (sorry I forgot to take pictures).

The kids, on the other hand, went for the yummy ice cream. This ice cream had the texture of whipped cream, but the taste of real ice cream. Very strange, but the kids enjoyed it. It was so funny watching Abigail learn how to eat ice cream from a cone.

After treats, we had to check out the carnival rides. Both kids were drawn to the vehicles on this particular ride. Joshua was excited to be in the driver's seat of this jeep.

Abigail took an upstairs, front row seat on this colorful, double-decker bus. Her first carnival ride. She loved it!

Both kids were given free balloons. Joshua was very pleased with his sword (though half the time he played it was a walking stick, like Mr. Fredrickson from the movie UP). Abigail loved her beautiful flower (though most of the leaves had popped by the time we reached home).

We also wandered into a tent with music competitions. Abigail was immediately struck by the fiddles and bagpipes. She started dancing to the music! It was so cute. She loved all the dancing competitions, and told me she was going to dance when she was bigger.

The competition winners (in addition to their cash prizes) go on to compete at the larger district games later this summer. We may have to check out some of the bigger games as well. What a wonderful day we had at the Aberdeen highland games! Check out the rest of our photo album: Aberdeen Highland Games - June 2010.


  1. I LOVE watching Highland Games. My first experience was in Eagle River, Alaska - and it was amazing. I was completely enthralled! Thanks for sharing these pics with us

  2. Looks like the kids had a ball! I was glad to run into y'all there!


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