Scotland has a long tradition and history of Highland Games where Clans would compete against each other in sporting events. Early Celts viewed such events as war games where their strongest and bravest soldiers would win the games.
Some say that Highland Games originated as a clan chieftain’s way of choosing the best bodyguards and the fittest fighters. Not all the chief’s requirements were warlike – musicians and dancers were important for the prestige of his household. Choosing staff and supporters was done by holding competitions – good runners for couriers, strong men for defence and a range of entertainers to amuse them during the winter evenings.
Many events at today’s Highland Games still use items which would have been part of everyday life in the Highlands of old eg. round stones from river beds probably provided the original shot-putts while a Scots pine trunk shorn of its branches are still the caber as tossed today.
Many of these traditions can still be seen in Highland Games today however they are now much more sociable and fun events celebrated worldwide.