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Re: Oldest Scottish Festival

Very good, John! To go back even further, there were even earlier
continuous Highland Games and gatherings. Ceres Games in Fife, Scotland,
claim to be the oldest continuous games, dating from 1314. They were the
first to celebrate the safe return of 600 of the districts bowmen from the
Battle of Bannockburn. The Ceres Games have been held ever since (except
during the periods of the Act of Proscription, 1746-1782), and the two world

Although Ceres boasts the longest continuous connection with the Highland
Games, the prestigious Braemar Gathering claims to have older roots, dating
back to King Malcom III (1057-1093).

Highland gatherings in various form have been held throughout the centuries.
For example, when Lord William Harwood went to Scotland as the envoy of
Henry VIII (1491-1547), a Games program was arranged in honor of the visit.
There are good descriptions of Highland dances in the 16th century and
evidence of the unrelenting fight of the Kirk (the Church of Scotland) to
put an end to such activities. Two centuries later Bonnie Prince Charlie
enjoyed watching men compete in athletics between battles, and it was his
Rebellion of 1745 that led to the Act of Proscription and the banning of all
things Scottish in character (Highland dress, Games, etc.)

Ref: The Scottish Highland Games in America, Emily Ann Donaldson,
Pelican Publishing Co., 1986


-----Original Message-----
From: John S. Quarterman <jsq@quarterman.org>
To: sinclair@quarterman.org <sinclair@quarterman.org>
Date: Sunday, October 13, 2002 5:35 PM
Subject: Re: Oldest Scottish Festival

>>       A friend recently asked me if I knew which Scottish festival has
>>going on for the most number of years?  I said that I did not know.  The

[ Excess quotations omitted. ]

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