It is said they were originally a form of war game in which the strongest and bravest soldiers would triumph.
Highland Games remain a potent expression of a form of Scottishness - both at home and abroad - with the celebration of pipes, drums, dancing and brute strength carried around the world in a fond tribute to the motherland.
The first historical reference to Highland Games-type events in Scotland was made during the reign of King Malcolm III (1057-1093) when he summoned men to race up Craig Choinnich near Braemar in order to find a royal messenger.
The games are said to have become a way of choosing the most ablest men for the clan chieftain’s household but it wasn’t just brute strength that was determined. Musicians and dancers were also sought to add prestige to the clan.
The Ceres Games in Fife are considered the oldest, continuous Highland Games in Scotland and began in 1314.
They continue to thrive more than 700 years after the King of Scots, Robert the Bruce, granted a charter for the village to hold a market and fair to acknowledge the farmers, labourers, craftsmen and “the small folk” who fought at the Battle of Bannockburn.
You can read more about the history of the highland games here