We took a trip to the Arasaig Highland Games this week, and what a treat! There were all the events you would hope for, throwing the hammer, and tossing the caber, there were races and dancing and a pipe band! I’m almost ashamed to admit I didn’t really understand the reason for these big games until this year, they have always looked fun but there is a deeper reason for them.
The Highland games are coupled with clan gatherings, an opportunity for those who are part of the clan to come and meet together. It’s such a family event and yet so welcoming to everyone. It’s quite touching when you see this side of it and helps to understand how and why it has such a friendly feel to it.
Many of the events had room to allow folk to join in if hey could and it was encouraged. I absolutely loved watching the heavy events and it was great to see extra people joining in. There was a lady who joined in loads of the events and she was great at getting the crowd to cheat her on (my kids may have told me to ‘whoop’ quieter). There was a junior games going on too so the kids could take part. The whole thing felt so welcoming and fun.
We arrived for the opening and so it was nice to get a little time there before it was really busy, it didn’t take long to fill up though. Thankfully my husband had thought of bringing chairs so we had a great spot to watch from (and escaped the complaints about having to stand from the kids). It was a fun event to be at and always things going on, while in the middle of the ring the heavy events took place there would also be a race or the highland dancing in another part. The ring was surrounded by stalls, selling or doing activities, I was amazed by everything that was there and just how accessible and welcoming it felt. I think that was also helped by there being several friends there who we bumped into from time to time, even so the kids still managed to make friends on the bouncy slide and then find them again on a walk about.
I am really glad we went and we all had fun. It was fun chatting to the kids (who love Roald Dahl’s Matilda) about how well the Trunchbull might have done at this and we plan to read Emma Thompson’s ‘The further tale of Peter Rabbit’ again as Finley McBurney throws his radish. It’s really no surprise that events like this work so well in childrens books, the real event feels quite magical and almost story like. Find the right character and you have a wonderful tale with friendship, family, competition and hopefully some sunshine.