the huntered housewife

our family life, our way

Men in Kilts

on July 6, 2014

We headed off to the annual Aberdeen Highland Games yesterday. That would be Aberdeen in New South Wales, Australia, not Aberdeen, Scotland. Although you could be forgiven for thinking they were one and the same yesterday. The Highland Games is much more than games, it is a Scottish celebration that consists of four days’ worth of dinners and celebrations. With lots of men wearing checked skirts kilts.

I remember writing about the same event last year. I still love listening to the bagpipes. There was plenty of that. Bands come from all over the place to play at Highland Games (in whichever location they are held) and at any time during the day, one of them was playing. You could either stop and watch them or keep browsing the shopping stalls with the band as background music. Beautiful either way.

Do you remember at school, when the athletics carnivals were on, we would have the tug of war as a novelty event? Well let me tell you, yesterday’s tug of war events were like the Olympics of tug of war! Believe it or not, when it’s taken seriously (as opposed to at school), it’s quite interesting to watch.

There is more to it than just a group of men pulling on a rope, with the biggest guy at the back. It’s a definite skill to do it correctly. Such strength and determination. Two teams had a woman competing as part of their team, and those women were certainly not a weakness on the teams, they were able to hold their ground just as well as the men. Incidentally, when we were telling my Dad about it, he told us a story of when he was staying at a B&B overseas last year, he met a couple also staying there and the husband mentioned he was in a pulling competition. Now that sounds a bit dubious to all us Aussies, but it is quite innocent – the guy was a member of a tug of war team. Nobody takes the name tug of war seriously (remember, it was just a novelty event at school), but does the term pulling competition really make it sound any more serious?

Of course the strongman competition is always a favourite of ours. The section we saw is when they guys have to lift five rocks onto five barrels, with each rock increasing in weight. We remembered the guy who came first from last year. Well over six feet tall and built like a brick outhouse. The crowd gets really excited at these events. We missed the next event because we were having lunch, but knew it was on by the crowd erupting into cheers each time the competitor tossed the kettle bell over the bar.

Oh, and I had my first taste of black pudding! Just the tiniest bit from my husband’s lunch. It was actually quite nice but I had to make an effort to block out of my mind what it was made of. It’s definitely mind over matter. If i didn’t know what it was, I would have enjoyed it without having to think about it. Do you know what I mean?

Here are some photos from our day.

1. Pipe band.

2. Tug of war.

3. There’s a girl in there!

4. Strongman mid heat.

5. He lifted all 5 rocks. I think the heaviest (last) was about 140kg.

6. Our Butterfly Princess.

7. Liam, our Mr 11, in the car on the way home, after a lovely day out.


It’s always lovely to learn about and celebrate other nationalities and cultures. I wish we had similar days for other countries. I can just imagine a nice Greek or Italian day. 

Is there a nationality you would like to celebrate or explore?


2 responses to “Men in Kilts

  1. Jacana says:

    Have just passed through your part of Australia. Considered staying an extra day for the highland festival. Now I wish I did.

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