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Aberdeen Highland Games 2015

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by Philip Duncan (subscribe)
I am a freelance photographer and writer from Port Stephens NSW Australia. Visit my web site at
See the strong men in kilts find a new champion
Highland Dancer
Highland Dancer
The Aberdeen Highland Games are held each year on the first Saturday in July. This year it is being held on the 4th of July 2015

So why not head up to the Upper Hunter Valley town of Aberdeen between Muswellbrook and Scone. Bring the family and your 4 legged friend for a fun day of celtic fun and games.

This is a great excuse to have a weekend escape in the Hunter Valley.

The Aberdeen Highland Games have become Aberdeen's most spectacular event, drawing hundreds of people to the township every year to enjoy the festivities.

Highland Drummer, pipe band, Aberdeen, Celtic, Celtic festival
Pipe band Drummer
The Games begin with a parade of bands, clan representatives and others that leads into the Massed Band Salute and Chieftain's Address that officially opens the day.

Throughout the day there will be fun for all the family - there will be Highland and Country Dancing, Pipe Band displays, Strong Man events with the Tartan Warriors to enjoy. As well as some fun with the tug-of-war, egg tosses, three-legged races, and the famed Kilted Dash to participate in.

A multitude of stores and stands will surround the area selling all manner of Scottish heirlooms and souvenirs, clothing and garb, and food and drink to complete your day.

Tickets for the 2015 Aberdeen Highland Games are now available for purchase. Pre purchase your tickets online for savings over the gate price. Online tickets can swapped on the day for a wristband to allow you to come and go from Harrison Oval as you please.

Camping tickets are also available for campsites on Jefferson Park; these are valid for as long as required for the event.

Tickets for the Aberdeen Highland Games Ceilidh 2015 are also available.

A Ceilidh is an informal social gathering, with songs, story-telling, music and dancing for the whole family and is always a highlight of the Aberdeen Highland Games. Pre-purchased tickets are essential and very popular and with limited numbers available don't delay and risk missing out on this great event.

Highland Games, highland festival, strong man, sheaf toss
Sheaf toss
The Tartan Warriors is a highlight of the Aberdeen Highland Games, where athletes compete in a traditional Celtic strongman competition. There is tremendous strength and determination on display when the athletes compete in three traditional events; Stones, Sheaf and Caber Toss.

Clach Cuid Fir (Gaelic for Manhood Stone) is a traditional test of pure strength. The athletes compete against the clock to determine who can lift five stones of increasing weights off the ground and onto barrels. With the stones weighing between 100 and 165kg this is not an event for the average person, but it is great to watch.

Sheaf Toss
This traditional Scottish agricultural sport involves using a pitchfork to hurl a burlap bag stuffed with straw over a horizontal bar above the competitor's head. The bag typical weights about 7kg and athletes are given three chances to get it cleanly over the bar, without touching it. The winner is the athlete who can successfully clear the highest bar.

Caber toss, highland games, strong man, highland festival
Caber toss

Caber Toss
This traditional Scottish athletic event is said to have developed from the need to toss logs across narrow chasms to cross them. Using a large wooden pole, called a caber the object is not the sheer distance of the throw, but rather to have the caber fall directly away from the thrower after landing. A perfect throw ends with the 'top' end nearest to the thrower and the 'bottom' end pointing exactly away. This is an impressive feat when the caber is typically 5.94m long and weighs 79kg.

Highland Dancer
Highland dancing
No other event at the Aberdeen Highland Games encompasses such enthusiasm and colour as Highland Dancing and what better sight and sound can there be that encapsulates the very essence of Scotland than the bagpipes accompanying a kilted dancer, swaying and pirouetting to traditional airs! Highland dancing requires great flexibility, agility, timing and stamina to precisely execute the intricate footwork, which makes the dance style so unique. You will see them perform many classic highland dances including The Sword Dance, the Highland Fling and the Seann Trubhas. This mixture of Scottish dance and music always makes the highland dancing a crowd favourite which shouldn't be missed.

The pipe bands are what make a Scottish event so special. The unique sounds of the bagpipes fills the air as dozens of bands converge from all around New South Wales at the Aberdeen Highland Games.

Each band performs multiple routines on the day competing for The McMullin Shield for the most outstanding band, the Scottish Australian Heritage Council Trophy, the Celtic Warriors Ceremonial Sword, and the President's Perpetual Trophy. Under the expert direction of the Drum Major of the Day, the bands come together as one at the opening and closing ceremonies, creating a mass band of hundreds of pipers and drummers in a truly impressive spectacle that should not be missed.

Aberdeen Highland Games has, over the past 15 years, attracted a number of bands on a regular basis. These bands have included Cessnock RSL Pipe Band, Armidale Pipe Band, Maitland Pipe Band, City of Newcastle RSL Pipe Band, Clan MacLeod Pipe Band, Coffs Coast Pipes & Drums/NSW Highlanders, Dubbo Pipes & Drums, Hills District Pipe Band, Lithgow Highland Pipe Band, Manly Warringah Pipe Band, McEwan Pipe Band, Plains Pipes & Drums, Scone RSL Pipes & Drums, Singleton/Hornsby/Conobalas Pipe Band, Tamworth & District Pipe Band, The Drum Line, United Mineworkers Pipe Band, Wingham Services Pipe Band, Tullibardine Pipe Band, Sydney Thistle Pipe Band, the City of Blacktown and Moree Caledonian pipe bands.
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Why? Celtic fun and games
When: 4th July 2015
Phone: 02 6540 1300
Where: Aberdeen NSW
Cost: From $15.00 prepaid adult
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