First established back in 1966, the Ringwood Highland Games is a traditional gathering to celebrate Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage. You don't have to be Scottish to enjoy this day of games, music, dancing and food, with everyone welcome to bring their Bravehearts along.
The Scottish Terrier, popularly called the Scottie
Centuries ago, highland games were all about testing courage, athleticism and strength through sport. While these traditional highland games are still celebrated, today there is much more with Pipe bands, highland dancers, Folk singers and plenty of other interesting Celtic activities on offer.
This year's games will showcase at least sixteen Pipe Bands. The bagpipes, that sound that is so symbolic of Scotland, will be a highlight of the games as they ring out. There will be piping and drumming competitions, by both small groups and solo artists. Kilted pipe bands will be marked on their uniforms, marching skills and of course, their music. Fiddling, harp circles and folk bands will also be playing.
The games will also feature a dancing competition with over a hundred of the best highland dancers from all over the country participating. In Highland dancing, dancers dance on the balls of the feet and they require strength and stamina. Highland dancing is actually recognised as a sport by the Sport Council of Scotland.
Scottish country dancing is with two or more couples, (highland dance is performed solo) and will also be on display. Whilst there is some similarity with highland dance in the steps, it's actually the ballroom dance of Scotland. Whatever your preferred style of dance, be sure to kick up your heels and join in the fun and merrymaking.
The Heavy Games will test strength and prowess with well know events such as Tossing the Caber, Stone Put and the Hammer Throw. These types of games were a way for different clans to demonstrate their power and strength to each other, without going to do battle. Be there to cheer on your favourite competitors.
Muscles in Kilts
The "Gathering of the Clans" brings together up to 30 Scottish Clans who will be holding Clan history talks and telling stories of their culture. There will be stalls showing their tartan colours and will include Scottish food, memorabilia, music and other goodies.
The Ringwood Highland Games are also pleased to present a Ceilidh the night before the games as a "Welcome Party" at the Maroondah Sports Club. A Ceilidh (pronounced "Kay-lee") from the Gaelic word meaning "a visit" also means an "evening of informal Scottish tradition dancing to informal music" or a "concert" in the highlands.