Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happiness is...big burly men wearing skirts and throwing things.

Also known as Scottish Highland games!

Yesterday a few friends and I braved the gloomy weather (ie downpour) to venture west to a little area known as The Plains, Virginia.  After a short detour to wait out the rain, find some umbrellas and some sustenance, we made it to the field and into a little bit of Scotland right here in America.

There were a ton of booths set up for food and merchandise (I indulged in a bit of buttery shortbread, a flaky pasty filled with beef and potatoes, a Welsh tea cookie and some non-Scottish but still tasty fresh-squeezed lemonade while ogling the countless tartans and silver and gorgeous wool sweaters and imported British/Scottish foodstuffs and more) as well as various events going on all around us.  Everywhere you looked there were people wearing kilts and toting bagpipes.  It made my heart happy!  Take a peek...

There were dancers and fiddlers and bands and a dog show and the battle sounds of bagpipes persisting in the air.  And then there were all the athletics...

Stone Tossing
Heavy Hammer Throwing

Caber Tossing
It's kind of crazy. Crazy fun! I loved every moment of it.  The overcast weather and the rolling hilly scenery was very reminiscent of Scotland itself, the food was fantastic, the kilts made me giggle (honestly, who can be sad in the presence of a kilt?!) and the bagpipes and drums stirred my soul. It was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon and made me proud of my Scottish heritage.

Oh flower of Scotland, when will we see your like again?*

Oh intrepid reader, where do you hail from? Have you carried any traditions from your ancestral home that still mean home to you? Are there any foods or events or days that have special meaning? I'd love to hear about them and maybe start a new tradition of my own!

*first line of the Scottish national anthem

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