The Braemar Games, of which the Queen is Patron, take place on the first Saturday of September in Aberdeenshire. The games are attended by members of the Royal Family and have had a long standing tradition of attendance dating back to 1848, when Queen Victoria attended.
The games are the most well-known Highland Games in Scotland and showcase some of the finest athletes, pipe bands and Highland dancers.
Historians think that the Braemar Gathering in Scotland began during the 11th century when King Malcolm Canmore visited Braemar. The Programme of Events was vastly different of course than the present day. The activities in the 11th century likely included games of strength, endurance and bravery as well as hunting and various skills showcasing the skills perhaps used in battle.
Present day’s events do not showcase the rather gruesome and quite dangerous games of the past. The modern Braemar Games include activities such as Highland Dancing, hammer throwing, races, leap contests, children’s games and the infamous Scottish event of “Tossing the Caber.” For those not familiar with Scottish games, a “caber,” is a straight, approximately 5-metre-long log that is tossed by a thrower. The object of the game is not the length of the throw but rather to have the caber fall straight away from the thrower after landing.
Prizes for the various activities range from £8 to £400.