The American equivalent of the & # 39; Highland Games & # 39; is underway, while 120 Scottish clans come together to celebrate Scottish culture, athletics and cuisine.
The 64th Grandfather Mountain Highland Games take place every year in the second full weekend in July at the MacRae Meadows, two miles north of Linville, in North Carolina.
The event is claimed to be the largest gathering of Scottish clans anywhere in the world. Typically it attracts between 30,000 – 40,000 people, according to Watauga Democrat.
It started with a torchlight ceremony on Thursday, known as the & # 39; vocation of the clans & # 39 ;, which is a traditional method of calling the clans into battle.
Each clan brought its own torch to announce itself as a & # 39; gift & # 39; at the opening service for games after sunset, before he adds them to a big bonfire. The celebration was accompanied by music, while the clansmen around them raised their arms in prayer.
From there, the festival began with the sound of bagpipes that blared highland melodies, followed by a four-day celebration of all things Gaelic.
The games themselves consist of traditional Scottish sports from the spell, where a participant throws a large tapered pole, usually made from a larch wood, as far as they can.
Other weight-throwing events are the hammer and the shovel, where competitors launch a woven bag of straw over a horizontal bar above their head with a pitchfork. Each bag typically weighs around 16 pounds and to endure each round, the contestant must clear the beam without touching it. They then proceed to the next round, where the bar is raised higher and higher until one winner remains standing.
Dee Dee Arbutina (above), from Raleigh, North Carolina, is releasing her weight in an attempt to win a weight loss event during the grandfather games. The games celebrate the history and culture of Scottish people. During these events, festival-goers celebrate traditional reinforcing sports, including the spell, the hammer and the sheaf
Jason Woods, (top) of Rocky Top, Tennessee, raises his broad arms to celebrate the cabling during the four-day festival. The word caber refers to the Gaelic word for & # 39; wooden beam & # 39; and is usually made of wood with a height of 19ft and a weight of 175 pounds. Competitors then launch the caber in the air as far as possible
Matthew Hall (above), from Roanoke, Virginia, warmed up for the weight throw event on Friday morning at the 64th annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games at MacRae Meadows in Linville, North Carolina. The four-day event is considered one of the largest reunions of the Scottish clans in the world, the event attracts between 30,000 – 40,000 people
Neil Anderson (center), from the band Seven Nations, plays his bagpipe while sitting with the crowd. More than 120 clans attended the event and between 30,000 and 40,000 people will participate in the celebrations of Scottish culture, traditions, music, food and drink
Tug of Wars remains a classic battle for the clans, as they gather their strongest members for the event to see who can take home the win.
The weight events take place alongside a debilitating foot race called & # 39; The Bear & # 39 ;, which saw 867 runners take up the challenge this year. The race saw them climb 1,568ft in a five-mile race to the top of Grandfather Mountain.
& # 39; It was a perfect day to run, & # 39; racing director Jim Deni wrote online, & # 39; and this is a popular race. & # 39;
This year's winner, Johnny Crain, 27, from nearby Blowing Rock, completed the achievement in 30: 58.7. The time was 40.3 seconds for his record-breaking run in 2017, which he attributed to injury recovery.
& # 39; It's just so cool to run through the Highland Games, & # 39; said Crain. & # 39; There are so many people out there … and they get so excited about it for us, and that really helps. & # 39;
A competitor is preparing for another traditional Scottish sport, the schoof competition. The bundle is a woven bag filled with straw that typically weighs around 16 pounds. Competitors then have three attempts to attempt to use a pitchfork to launch the shovel on a horizontal bar above their heads. They must tidy up the bar to continue to the next round, where the height of the bar is raised until a clear winner is announced
Adriane Wilson (above), from Irma, South Carolina, is participating in the Friday's weight throw event that looks like the discus. This is one of the many sports, including the spell, the throw and other weighted events that are a celebration of Scottish culture.
Jodi Casher, from Asheville, North Carolina, launches one of the weights high in the air and participates in one of the weight battles during the 64th annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games at MacRae Meadows in Linville, North Carolina. It is expected that between 30,000 and 40,000 people will attend the event, consisting of more than those associated with the 120-plus clans and other spectators.
Heather Haddock from Washington takes part in the & # 39; hammer throw & # 39 ;. The event saw a metal ball with steel wire on a handle swung in a circle until it was released. The further it is thrown, the more points are collected. A winner is declared from there
The Scottish cultural village, which is entering its fifth year, discusses aspects of Scottish culture from forging to losing weight, weaving, piping and drumming.
Lectures range from the Gaelic tradition to the differences between Scottish and American whiskey, as well as the folklore around the notorious & # 39; Nessie & # 39 ;, better known as the Loch Ness monster.
In addition to athletics, the event shows some of the famous drinks and dishes from Scotland. These include Scotch whiskey and Celtic cuisine from Haggis, shepherds pie, sticky pudding and many others.
The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games will close on Sunday with the & # 39; Parade of Tartans. & # 39; During the service, the clans gather their most important & # 39; important members & # 39; to parade around on a trail where they are welcomed by the hustle and bustle of the bagpipes.
A man is practicing on a bagpipe before the opening of the torchlight procession to start the 64th annual grandfather mountain highland game. The torch light ceremony, also called the & # 39; call of the clans & # 39; , goes back to clan members who announce their presence during a fight by taking their torch to add to the bonfire. This year, during the festival, this event happened on Friday after sunset and was accompanied by music and Celtic dishes
A man put his torch in the cross during the first torchlight procession. Each torch represents an existing clan as part of the & # 39; vocation of the clans & # 39; that took place on Friday. Traditionally this was a way of calling the clans to war, with each clan putting its torch on the big fire
Members of various Scottish clans are waiting to announce their arrival at the opening ceremony. During the event bagpipes play Celtic songs and visitors celebrate the ancient traditions of Scotland
More than 120 clans were present at the opening service. While the crowd raises their hands in prayer, listening to the sound of the bagpipes
Members of different Scottish clans are waiting to announce their arrival at the opening ceremony of the torches, also known as the & # 39; vocation of the clans & # 39;
Al Thompson (above), from Milan, Indiana, was ready to announce the arrival of his clan at the opening of the torchlight service. His will has more than 120 torches from the other clans united in the ceremony that traditionally dates as a traditional & # 39; call for war & # 39;
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