Celebrating traditions of Highland Games

An exhibition celebrating the traditions of the Highland Games has opened in the Gateway to the Glens Museum in the centre of Kirriemuir.

Once to be found only in Scotland, Highland Games are now enjoyed in many parts of the world.

Research into the origins of the festival suggests that in ancient times, the Celts staged games in honour of their gods.

In Scotland Malcolm III (1058-93) summoned clansmen to demonstrate who would make the best fighting men, in an event similar to the modern games.

The modern Highland games can be traced back to the 18th century.

In 1781 the Falkland Tryst held the first Highland Society Gathering, with the main focus of the event being piping.

The local Glenisla Games began in 1856 as the Highland Games and Friendly Society with membership of the event entitling the families of members to charitable support should they fall upon evil times.

Those interested are invited along to the Gateway to the Glens Museum to view the many interesting artefacts and photographs of Highland Games at Strathmore, Glenisla and Cortachy.

Learn about the heavy events of Tossing the Caber and Tug of War, in addition to viewing the beautiful tartan dancing costumes.

Visitors can meet a mannequin dressed as a piper and view the childhood photographs of Lord Airlie enjoying the Cortachy games with his younger brother Angus in 1935. For those who dare you can smell the special pine resin concoction used by the Forfar Tug of War team to help their hands stick to the rope!

The exhibition celebrates the games throughout the summer and can be viewed, free, during the museum’s opening hours of Tuesday to Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It runs until August 2.

The Kirriemuir Gateway to the Glens Museum is situated in Kirriemuir Town House, a building that has been at the heart of Kirriemuir since its construction in 1604. The museum opened in 2001 after the building was carefully restored and conserved. It houses displays on two floors which give details of the unique atmosphere of historic Kirriemuir and the splendour of the Angus Glens part of the Cairngorms National Park.