The Highland Games

In the 11th century, Scottish King Malcolm III organised contests in a Scottish village called Braemar to find the strongest and fastest men in his kingdom. Those who were the strongest became the kings bodyguards and those who were the fastest became his couriers. The Highland Games were a major attraction and many people came to Braemar when the contest was held. Some wanted to take part, others just came as visitors.

Now the Highland Games do not only take place in Scottish villages and towns, but also in many other countries where Scots have settled. And today's games also attract many visitors. This is mainly because of the spectacular events at the games, above all the caber toss. A caber is a log, it is 5 metres long and weighs about 45 kg. The athlete holds the caber by one end and tries to throw it so that it lands on the other end and then falls away from the thrower.

Other events of the Highland Games are for example hammer throw, shot put or tug of war (rope pulling). There are also competitions in bag piping and Scottish dancing. The atmosphere at the Highland Games is great. You can meet Scottish people, learn a little about Scottish history, listen to Scottish music and enjoy great Scottish food and drink.

Questions on the text

According to the text, are the statements true or false?

  • In the 11th century, the strongest men from the contest became the king's couriers.
  • The Highland Games are only held in Scotland.
  • Today's Highland Games are also a festival of music and dance.

Complete the following sentences according to the text.

  • Malcolm III
  • A caber
  • At the Highland Games, there