What is a highland gathering?

What's a Highland Gathering?

The modern highland gathering or highland games is a day full of events and activities. The day is a mix of sporting event, music festival and something like a fete, fair and market combined. There is always a range of music often including folk music and Scottish pipes and drums.

Generally there will be a Scottish sporting competition including the caber toss and the weight over the bar events. Dancing is also included, often Scottish or Irish folk dancing as well as highland dancing. 


Highland gathering are not a new idea. The concept of the highland gathering is said to date back over a thousand years. Certainly there is a reference in a  1703 document that summons the members of the clan Grant to a highland gathering. In the Victorian era the modern concept of the highland gathering was born and became popular after the highland clearances.


The Canberra Highland gathering is an Australian take on this traditional Scottish event. Bagpipe bands will mass in Canberra to compete in the ACT pipe band championship. Highland dancers will compete in the Canberra City Championship. There will also other music types throughout the day as well as historic reenactments and displays. In between watching the bands, dancers and other displays you can browse the wide array of market stalls or grab a bite to eat from the wide range of food stalls (including traditional Scottish food). There will also be a series of Scottish heavy sporting events run by the Tartan Warriors.

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