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Highland games were originally meetings of clans. They developed into more formal gatherings under the influence of the revival of interest in Scottish antiquity fostered by Scott and others in the 1810s. At Invergarry in the 1820s the games included not only piping, tossing the caber, hammer-throwing, wrestling, and running, but twisting the four legs off a cow. A sanitized version at Braemar in 1850 was attended by Queen Victoria, whose ghillie, Duncan, ‘an active, good-looking young man’, won the race up and down Craig Cheunnich, finished ‘spitting blood’, and was never the same man again. Modern gatherings are held in various places, usually in late summer.
J. A. Cannon
Highland Games Series of athletics competitions featuring traditional Scottish events. The term specifically refers to the autumn Royal Braemar Games or Braemar Gathering, held annually since 1819. The programme includes highland dancing, bagpipe playing, and the tossing of the caber.