Sporting events tied to specific nations and their cultures are to be found today in wondrous variety and locales across the globe. But few are more spectacular and ensconced in tradition and celebration of culture such as The Braemar Gathering.
Past and present Of Braemar Gathering
Held annually on the first Saturday of September in the village of Braemar, Aberdeenshire, a region of the Scottish Highlands, The Braemar Gathering has for centuries been drawing crowds to witness and participate in feats of athleticism and to revel in all things purely Scottish. Colloquially acknowledged simply as “The Games,” The Braemar Gathering historically functioned as an opportunity for Scotland’s many clans to come together under the diplomatic auspices of ‘healthy’ sporting competition, thereby fostering an atmosphere of national pride and unity whilst minimising collateral damage. In its current manifestation The Games host world class professional athletes and visitors from around the world for a day of eclectic/celtic sports, and provides venues and amenities for everything from traditional Highland cuisine, music, dance, and drink to stalls selling kilts, tartans, art, crafts and weaponry (this is Scotland, after all).
One cannot mention The Braemar Gathering without acknowledging one of its most conspicuous athletic events. Most notable is the ‘Caber toss,’ whose participants vie for herniated bragging rights by attempting to hurl a long section of pine tree trunk end-over-end as far as they can above their heads.
Other events run a similar vein and constitute throwing large, heavy rocks and steel cannon balls as far as physically possible. Joking aside the athletes who participate in The Games are some of the most capable in the world, and the events themselves set a very high standard for technical difficulty.
Bagpipes and beyond
The Braemar Gathering is not just about sports. Above all it is about the celebration of Scottish culture and heritage, and that simply cannot be accomplished without bagpipes. A lot of bagpipes! In fact The Games are ushered in and brought to a resounding conclusion by a rousing and cacophonous ensemble of as many as (sometimes more than) twenty piping bands, each bedecked in traditional clan colours and marching in-step to their bagpipe tunes. Visitors can expect to be serenaded by pipers throughout the entirety of the day, and that is a most welcome accompaniment to the spirit of The Games and their location in the celebrated beauty of the Scottish Highlands.
Admission Process and Pricing of Braemar Gathering 2015
Tickets to The Braemar Gathering often sell fast, with grandstand seating already sold out to this year’s event.
Admission to venues offering seating for adults and families ranges from £18 to £45. General admission to the grounds, festivities and amenities is twelve pounds for adults, two pounds for children.
Date of Braemar Gathering 2015
6th Sept, 2015