Highland games are events held in spring and summer in Scotland, United Kingdom and other countries as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture that of the Scottish Highlands. Certain aspects of the games are so well known as to have become emblematic of Scotland, such as the bagpipes, the kilt, the heavy events the caber toss. While centred on competitions in piping and drumming and Scottish heavy athletics, the games include entertainment and exhibits related to other aspects of Scottish and Gaelic culture; the Cowal Highland Gathering, better known as the Cowal Games, held in Dunoon, every August, is the largest Highland games in the world, attracting around 3,500 competitors and somewhere in the region of 23,000 spectators from around the globe. Worldwide, however, it is exceeded in terms of spectators by two gatherings in the United States: the estimated 30,000 that attend Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina and the larger gathering—the largest in the Northern Hemisphere—that has taken place every year since 1866.
This event is held on Labor Day weekend in Pleasanton and their Sesquicentennial Games held on September 5–6, 2015, attracted record crowds close to 50,000. The games are claimed to have influenced Baron Pierre de Coubertin when he was planning the revival of the Olympic Games. De Coubertin saw a display of Highland games at the Paris Exhibition of 1889; the origin of human games and sports predates recorded history. An example of a possible early games venue is at Fetteresso, although that location is technically a few miles south of the Scotland Highlands, it is reported in numerous Highland games programs, that King Malcolm III of Scotland, in the 11th century, summoned contestants to a foot race to the summit of Craig Choinnich. King Malcolm created this foot race in order to find the fastest runner in the land to be his royal messenger; some have seen this apocryphal event to be the origin of today's modern Highland games. There is a document from 1703 summoning the clan of the Laird of Clan Grant.
They were to arrive wearing Highland coats and "also with gun, sword and dirk". From this letter, it is believed. However, the modern Highland games are a Victorian invention, developed after the Highland Clearances. In their original form many centuries ago, Highland games revolved around athletic and sports competitions. Though other activities were always a part of the festivities, many today still consider Highland athletics to be what the games are all about—in short, that the athletics are the Games, all the other activities are just entertainment. Regardless, it remains true today that the athletic competitions are at least an integral part of the events and one—the caber toss—has come to symbolize the Highland games. Although quite a range of events can be a part of the Highland athletics competition, a few have become standard. Caber toss: A long log is stood upright and hoisted by the competitor who balances it vertically holding the smaller end in his hands; the competitor runs forward attempting to toss it in such a way that it turns end over end with the upper end striking the ground first.
The smaller end, held by the athlete hits the ground in the 12 o'clock position measured relative to the direction of the run. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber. Cabers vary in length, weight and balance, all of which affect the degree of difficulty in making a successful toss. Competitors are judged on how their throws approximate the ideal 12 o'clock toss on an imaginary clock. Stone put: This event is similar to the modern-day shot put as seen in the Olympic Games. Instead of a steel shot, a large stone of variable weight is used. There are some differences from the Olympic shot put in allowable techniques. There are two versions of the stone toss events, differing in allowable technique; the "Braemar Stone" uses a 20–26 lb stone for men and does not allow any run up to the toeboard or "trig" to deliver the stone, i.e. it is a standing put. In the "Open Stone" using a 16–22 lb stone for men, the thrower is allowed to use any throwing style so long as the stone is put with one hand with the stone resting cradled in the neck until the moment of release.
Most athletes in the open stone event use either the "spin" techniques. Scottish hammer throw: This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. In the Scottish event, a round metal ball is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length and made out of wood, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one's head and thrown for distance over the shoulder. Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it is whirled about the head; this increases the distance attainable in the throw. Weight throw known as the weight for distance event. There are two separate events, one using a light and the other a heavy weight; the weights have a handle attached either directly or by means of a chain. The implement is thrown otherwise using any technique. A spinning technique is employed.
The longest throw wins. Weight over the bar known as weight for height; the athletes attempt to
Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset; this is about halfway between the winter solstice. It is one of the four Gaelic seasonal festivals, along with Imbolc and Lughnasadh, it was observed throughout Ireland and the Isle of Man. Similar festivals are held at the same time of year in other Celtic lands. Samhain is believed to have Celtic pagan origins and there is evidence it has been an important date since ancient times; some Neolithic passage tombs in Ireland are aligned with the sunrise around the time of Samhain. It is mentioned in some of the earliest Irish literature and many important events in Irish mythology happen or begin on Samhain, it was the time when cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and when livestock were slaughtered for the winter. As at Bealtaine, special bonfires were lit.
These were deemed to have protective and cleansing powers and there were rituals involving them. Like Bealtaine, Samhain was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more be crossed; this meant the Aos Sí, the'spirits' or'fairies', could more come into our world. Most scholars see the Aos Sí as remnants of the pagan gods and nature spirits. At Samhain, it was believed that the Aos Sí needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink were left outside for them; the souls of the dead were thought to revisit their homes seeking hospitality. Feasts were had, at which the souls of dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place set at the table for them. Mumming and guising were part of the festival, involved people going door-to-door in costume reciting verses in exchange for food; the costumes may have been a way of imitating, disguising oneself from, the Aos Sí. Divination rituals and games were a big part of the festival and involved nuts and apples.
In the late 19th century, Sir John Rhys and Sir James Frazer suggested that it was the "Celtic New Year", this view has been repeated by some other scholars. In the 9th century AD, the Western Christian church shifted the date of All Saints' Day to 1 November, while 2 November became All Souls' Day. Over time and All Saints'/All Souls' merged to create the modern Halloween. Historians have used the name'Samhain' to refer to Gaelic'Halloween' customs up until the 19th century. Since the 20th century, Celtic neopagans and Wiccans have observed Samhain, or something based on it, as a religious holiday. Neopagans in the Southern Hemisphere celebrate Samhain at the other end of the year. In Modern Irish as well as Scottish Gaelic the name is Samhain. Older forms of the word include the Scottish Gaelic spellings Samhuinn. In Manx Gaelic the name is Sauin; these are the names of November in each language, shortened from Mí na Samhna, Mì na Samhna and Mee Houney, meaning "month of Samhain". The night of 31 October—Halloween—is Oíche Shamhna, Oidhche Shamhna and Oie Houney, meaning "Samhain night".
The day of 1 November, or the whole festival, may be called Lá Samhna, Là Samhna and Laa Houney, meaning "Samhain day". These names all come from the Old Irish Samain or Samuin, the name for the festival held on 1 November in medieval Ireland; this comes from Proto-Indo-European *semo-. One suggestion is that the name means "summer's end", from sam and fuin, but this may be a folk etymology. In 1907, Whitley Stokes suggested an etymology from Proto-Celtic *samani, Joseph Vendryes suggested that it is unrelated to *semo-, because the Celtic summer ended in August; the Gaulish month name SAMON " Summer" on the Coligny calendar is related to the word Samhain. A festival of some kind may have been held during the'three nights of Samonios'; the Gaulish calendar seems to have split the year into two-halves: the first beginning with the month SAMON and the second beginning with the month GIAMONIOS, related to the word for winter, PIE *g'hei-men-, cf. Old Irish gem-adaig. Samonios may represent the beginning of the summer season and Giamonios the beginning of the winter season.
The lunations marking the middle of each half-year may have been marked by festivals. Samain or Samuin was the name of the feis or festival marking the beginning of winter in Gaelic Ireland, it is attested in some of the earliest Old Irish literature, from the 10th century onward. It was one of four Gaelic seasonal festivals: Samhain, Imbolc and Lughnasadh. Samhain and Bealtaine, at the witherward side of the year from each other, are thought to have been the most important. Sir James George Frazer wrote in The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion that 1 May and 1 November are of little importance to European crop-growers, but of great importance to herdsmen, it is at the beginning of summer that cattle are driven to the upland summer pastures and the beginning of winter that they are led back. Thus, Frazer suggests that halving the year at 1 M
Scottish art is the body of visual art made in what is now Scotland, or about Scottish subjects, since prehistoric times. It forms a distinctive tradition within European art, but the political union with England has led its partial subsumation in British art; the earliest examples of art from what is now Scotland are decorated carved stone balls from the Neolithic period. From the Bronze Age there are examples of carvings, including the first representations of objects, cup and ring marks. More extensive Scottish examples of patterned objects and gold work are found the Iron Age. Elaborately carved Pictish stones and impressive metalwork emerged in Scotland the early Middle Ages; the development of a common style of Insular art across Great Britain and Ireland influenced elaborate jewellery and illuminated manuscripts such as the Book of Kells. Only isolated examples survive of native artwork from the late Middle Ages and of works created or influenced by artists of Flemish origin; the influence of the Renaissance can be seen in stone carving and painting from the fifteenth century.
In the sixteenth century the crown began to employ Flemish court painters who have left a portrait record of royalty. The Reformation removed a major source of patronage for art and limited the level of public display, but may have helped in the growth of secular domestic forms elaborate painting of roofs and walls. Although the loss of the court as a result of the Union of Crowns in 1603 removed another major source of patronage, the seventeenth century saw the emergence of the first significant native artists for whom names are extant, with figures such as George Jamesone and John Michael Wright. In the eighteenth century Scotland began to produce artists that were significant internationally, all influenced by neoclassicism, such as Allan Ramsay, Gavin Hamilton, the brothers John and Alexander Runciman, Jacob More and David Allan. Towards the end of the century Romanticism began to influence artistic production, can be seen in the portraits of artists such as Henry Raeburn, it contributed to a tradition of Scottish landscape painting that focused on the Highlands, formulated by figures including Alexander Nasmyth.
The Royal Scottish Academy of Art was created in 1826, major portrait painters of this period included Andrew Geddes and David Wilkie. William Dyce emerged as one of the most significant figures in art education in the United Kingdom; the beginnings of a Celtic Revival can be seen in the late nineteenth century and the art scene was dominated by the work of the Glasgow Boys and the Four, led Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who gained an international reputation for their combination of Celtic revival and Crafts and Art Nouveau. The early twentieth century was dominated by the Edinburgh School. Modernism enjoyed popularity during this period, with William Johnstone helping to develop the concept of a Scottish Renaissance. In the post-war period, major artists, including John Bellany and Alexander Moffat, pursued a strand of "Scottish realism". Moffat's influence can be seen in the work of the "new Glasgow Boys" from the late twentieth century. In the twenty-first century Scotland has continued to produce successful and influential artists such as Douglas Gordon and Susan Philipsz.
Scotland possess significant collections of art, such as the National Gallery of Scotland and National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the Burrell Collection and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. Significant schools of art include the Glasgow School of Art; the major funding body with responsibility for the arts in Scotland is Creative Scotland. Support is given by local councils and independent foundations; the oldest known examples of art to survive from Scotland are carved stone balls, or petrospheres, that date from the late Neolithic era. They are a uniquely Scottish phenomenon, with over 425 known examples. Most are from modern Aberdeenshire, but a handful of examples are known from Iona, Harris, Lewis, Hawick and fifteen from Orkney, five of which were found at the Neolithic village of Skara Brae. Many functions have been suggested for these objects, most indicating that they were prestigious and powerful possessions, their production may have continued into the Iron Age.
From the Bronze Age there are extensive examples of rock art. These include cup and ring marks, a central depression carved into stone, surrounded by rings, sometimes not completed; these are common elsewhere in Atlantic Europe and have been found on natural rocks and isolated stones across Scotland. The most elaborate sets of markings are in western Scotland in the Kilmartin district; the representations of an axe and a boat at the Ri Cruin Cairn in Kilmartin, a boat pecked into Wemyss Cave, are believed to be the oldest known representations of real objects that survive in Scotland. Carved spirals have been found on the cover stones of burial cists in Lanarkshire and Kincardine. By the Iron Age, Scotland had been penetrated by the wider La Tène culture; the Torrs Pony-cap and Horns are the most impressive of the few finds of La Tène decoration from Scotland, indicate links with Ireland and southern Britain. The Stirling torcs, found in 2009, are a group of four gold torcs in different styles, dating from 300 BC and 100 BC Two demonstrate common styles found in Scotland and Ireland, but the other two indicate workmanship from what is now southern France and the Greek and Roman worlds.
In the Early Middle Ages, four distinct linguistic and political groupings existed in what is now Scotland, each of which produced distinct material cultures. In the east were the Picts, whose kingdoms stretched from the River Forth to Shetland. In th
History of Scotland
The recorded history of Scotland begins with the arrival of the Roman Empire in the 1st century, when the province of Britannia reached as far north as the Antonine Wall. North of this was Caledonia, inhabited by the Picti, whose uprisings forced Rome's legions back to Hadrian's Wall; as Rome withdrew from Britain, Gaelic raiders called the Scoti began colonising Western Scotland and Wales. Prior to Roman times, prehistoric Scotland entered the Neolithic Era about 4000 BC, the Bronze Age about 2000 BC, the Iron Age around 700 BC; the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata was founded on the west coast of Scotland in the 6th century. In the following century, Irish missionaries introduced the pagan Picts to Celtic Christianity. Following England's Gregorian mission, the Pictish king Nechtan chose to abolish most Celtic practices in favour of the Roman rite, restricting Gaelic influence on his kingdom and avoiding war with Anglian Northumbria. Towards the end of the 8th century, the Viking invasions began, forcing the Picts and Gaels to cease their historic hostility to each other and to unite in the 9th century, forming the Kingdom of Scotland.
The Kingdom of Scotland was united under the House of Alpin, whose members fought among each other during frequent disputed successions. The last Alpin king, Malcolm II, died without issue in the early 11th century and the kingdom passed through his daughter's son to the House of Dunkeld or Canmore; the last Dunkeld king, Alexander III, died in 1286. He left only his infant granddaughter Margaret, Maid of Norway as heir, who died herself four years later. England, under Edward I, would take advantage of this questioned succession to launch a series of conquests, resulting in the Wars of Scottish Independence, as Scotland passed back and forth between the House of Balliol and the House of Bruce. Scotland's ultimate victory confirmed Scotland as a independent and sovereign kingdom; when King David II died without issue, his nephew Robert II established the House of Stuart, which would rule Scotland uncontested for the next three centuries. James VI, Stuart king of Scotland inherited the throne of England in 1603, the Stuart kings and queens ruled both independent kingdoms until the Act of Union in 1707 merged the two kingdoms into a new state, the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Ruling until 1714, Queen Anne was the last Stuart monarch. Since 1714, the succession of the British monarchs of the houses of Hanover and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha has been due to their descent from James VI and I of the House of Stuart. During the Scottish Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution, Scotland became one of the commercial and industrial powerhouses of Europe, its industrial decline following the Second World War was acute. In recent decades Scotland has enjoyed something of a cultural and economic renaissance, fuelled in part by a resurgent financial services sector and the proceeds of North Sea oil and gas. Since the 1950s, nationalism has become a strong political topic, with serious debates on Scottish independence, a referendum in 2014 about leaving the British Union. People lived in Scotland for at least 8,500 years before Britain's recorded history. At times during the last interglacial period Europe had a climate warmer than today's, early humans may have made their way to Scotland, with the possible discovery of pre-Ice Age axes on Orkney and mainland Scotland.
Glaciers scoured their way across most of Britain, only after the ice retreated did Scotland again become habitable, around 9600 BC. Upper Paleolithic hunter-gatherer encampments formed the first known settlements, archaeologists have dated an encampment near Biggar to around 12000 BC. Numerous other sites found around Scotland build up a picture of mobile boat-using people making tools from bone and antlers; the oldest house for which there is evidence in Britain is the oval structure of wooden posts found at South Queensferry near the Firth of Forth, dating from the Mesolithic period, about 8240 BC. The earliest stone structures are the three hearths found at Jura, dated to about 6000 BC. Neolithic farming brought permanent settlements. Evidence of these includes the well-preserved stone house at Knap of Howar on Papa Westray, dating from around 3500 BC and the village of similar houses at Skara Brae on West Mainland, Orkney from about 500 years later; the settlers introduced chambered cairn tombs from around 3500 BC, as at Maeshowe, from about 3000 BC the many standing stones and circles such as those at Stenness on the mainland of Orkney, which date from about 3100 BC, of four stones, the tallest of, 16 feet in height.
These were part of a pattern. The creation of cairns and Megalithic monuments continued into the Bronze Age, which began in Scotland about 2000 BC; as elsewhere in Europe, hill forts were first introduced in this period, including the occupation of Eildon Hill near Melrose in the Scottish Borders, from around 1000 BC, which accommodated several hundred houses on a fortified hilltop. From the Early and Middle Bronze Age there is evidence of cellular round houses of stone, as at Jarlshof and Sumburgh on Shetland. There is evidence of the occupation of crannogs, roundhouses or built on artificial islands in lakes and estuarine waters. In the early Iron Age, from the seventh century BC, cellular houses began to be replaced on the northern isles by simple Atlantic roundhouses, substantial circular buildings with a dry stone construction. From about 400 BC, more complex Atlantic roundhouses began to be built, as at Howe and Crosskirk, Caithness; the most massive constructions that date from this era are the circular broch towers, p
Scottish Gaelic or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to as Gaelic, is a Celtic language native to the Gaels of Scotland. A member of the Goidelic branch of the Celtic languages, Scottish Gaelic, like Modern Irish and Manx, developed out of Middle Irish. Most of modern Scotland was once Gaelic-speaking, as evidenced by Gaelic-language placenames. In the 2011 census of Scotland, 57,375 people reported as able to speak Gaelic, 1,275 fewer than in 2001; the highest percentages of Gaelic speakers were in the Outer Hebrides. There are revival efforts, the number of speakers of the language under age 20 did not decrease between the 2001 and 2011 censuses. Outside Scotland, Canadian Gaelic is spoken in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Scottish Gaelic is not an official language of either the United Kingdom. However, it is classed as an indigenous language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, which the British government has ratified, the Gaelic Language Act 2005 established a language development body, Bòrd na Gàidhlig.
Aside from "Scottish Gaelic", the language may be referred to as "Gaelic", pronounced or in English. "Gaelic" may refer to the Irish language. Scottish Gaelic is distinct from Scots, the Middle English-derived language varieties which had come to be spoken in most of the Lowlands of Scotland by the early modern era. Prior to the 15th century, these dialects were known as Inglis by its own speakers, with Gaelic being called Scottis. From the late 15th century, however, it became common for such speakers to refer to Scottish Gaelic as Erse and the Lowland vernacular as Scottis. Today, Scottish Gaelic is recognised as a separate language from Irish, so the word Erse in reference to Scottish Gaelic is no longer used. Gaelic was believed to have been brought to Scotland, in the 4th–5th centuries CE, by settlers from Ireland who founded the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata on Scotland's west coast in present-day Argyll.:551:66 However, archaeologist Dr Ewan Campbell has argued that there is no archaeological or placename evidence of a migration or takeover.
This view of the medieval accounts is shared by other historians. Regardless of how it came to be spoken in the region, Gaelic in Scotland was confined to Dál Riata until the eighth century, when it began expanding into Pictish areas north of the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. By 900, Pictish appears to have become extinct replaced by Gaelic.:238–244 An exception might be made for the Northern Isles, where Pictish was more supplanted by Norse rather than by Gaelic. During the reign of Caustantín mac Áeda, outsiders began to refer to the region as the kingdom of Alba rather than as the kingdom of the Picts. However, though the Pictish language did not disappear a process of Gaelicisation was under way during the reigns of Caustantín and his successors. By a certain point during the 11th century, all the inhabitants of Alba had become Gaelicised Scots, Pictish identity was forgotten. In 1018, after the conquest of the Lothians by the Kingdom of Scotland, Gaelic reached its social, cultural and geographic zenith.:16–18 Colloquial speech in Scotland had been developing independently of that in Ireland since the eighth century.
For the first time, the entire region of modern-day Scotland was called Scotia in Latin, Gaelic was the lingua Scotica.:276:554 In southern Scotland, Gaelic was strong in Galloway, adjoining areas to the north and west, West Lothian, parts of western Midlothian. It was spoken to a lesser degree in north Ayrshire, the Clyde Valley and eastern Dumfriesshire. In south-eastern Scotland, there is no evidence that Gaelic was widely spoken. Many historians mark the reign of King Malcom Canmore as the beginning of Gaelic's eclipse in Scotland, his wife Margaret of Wessex spoke no Gaelic, gave her children Anglo-Saxon rather than Gaelic names, brought many English bishops and monastics to Scotland.:19 When Malcolm and Margaret died in 1093, the Gaelic aristocracy rejected their anglicised sons and instead backed Malcolm's brother Donald Bàn. Donald had spent 17 years in Gaelic Ireland and his power base was in the Gaelic west of Scotland, he was the last Scottish monarch to be buried on Iona, the traditional burial place of the Gaelic Kings of Dàl Riada and the Kingdom of Alba.
However, during the reigns of Malcolm Canmore's sons, Alexander I and David I, Anglo-Norman names and practices spread throughout Scotland south of the Forth–Clyde line and along the northeastern coastal plain as far north as Moray. Norman French displaced Gaelic at court; the establishment of royal burghs throughout the same area under David I, attracted large numbers of foreigners speaking Old English. This was the beginning of Gaelic's status as a predominantly rural language in Scotland.:19-23 Clan chiefs in the northern and western parts of Scotland continued to support Gaelic bards who remained a central feature of court life there. The semi-independent Lordship of the Isles in the Hebrides and western coastal mainland remained Gaelic since the language's recovery there in the 12th century, providing a political foundation for cultural prestige down to the end of the 15th century.:553-6By the mid-14th century what came to be called Scots emerged as the official language of government and law.:139 Scotland's emergent nat
The hackle is a clipped feather plume, attached to a military headdress. In the British Army and the armies of some Commonwealth countries, the hackle is worn by some infantry regiments those designated as fusilier regiments and those with Scottish and Northern Irish origins; the colour of the hackle varies from regiment to regiment. The modern hackle has its origins in a much longer plume referred to by its Scots name, attached to the feather bonnet worn by Highland regiments; the smaller version originated in a regimental emblem adopted by the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment, to be worn in the sun helmet issued in hot-weather postings from the 1870s. In the modern British Army, there is a single regiment of fusiliers, plus a battalion of a large regiment. Hackle colours are: Royal Regiment of Fusiliers: Red over white Royal Highland Fusiliers: WhiteOther ranks of the Royal Welsh. There were several other fusilier regiments which no longer exist; the hackle colours worn were as follows: Lancashire Fusiliers: Primrose yellow Royal Fusiliers: White Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers: Grey Royal Irish Fusiliers: Green Royal Northumberland Fusiliers: Red over White Royal Scots Fusiliers: White Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers: Blue over Old Gold Royal Welch Fusiliers: White Royal Munster Fusiliers: White over Green Royal Dublin Fusiliers: Green over Blue Non-fusilier regiments which wear the hackle are: Irish Guards: St Patrick's blue Liverpool Scottish: Royal blue Liverpool Irish: Blue over red London Irish Rifles: Green Royal Irish Regiment: Green Royal Scots Dragoon Guards: White Royal Welsh: White Scots Guards: Blue over red The Queen's University Officers' Training Corps: St Patrick's Blue Royal Air Force: Blue Following the amalgamation of the regiments of the Scottish Division to form The Royal Regiment of Scotland on 28 March 2006, the following hackles are being worn by the regiment's constituent battalions: Royal Scots Borderers: Black Royal Highland Fusiliers: White Black Watch: Red The Highlanders: Blue Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders: Green 52nd Lowland Volunteers: Grey 51st Highland Volunteers: PurpleWhilst the white hackle of 2 SCOTS, red hackle of 3 SCOTS and blue hackle of 4 SCOTS have a known ancestry, the origin of 1 SCOTS black hackle and 5 SCOTS green hackle are not clear and have no apparent precedent.
It may be that the black hackle of 1 SCOTS simulates the black-cock tail feathers worn in the 1904 pattern Kilmarnock Bonnet and latterly in the regimental Glengarry Cap by the Royal Scots and King's Own Scottish Borderers, who merged in August 2006 to form 1 SCOTS. Alternatively, it may be a sympathetic gesture to a former Lowland regiment, the Cameronians, who went into'suspended animation' in 1968, who wore a black hackle in their rifle green dress Balmoral; the adoption of the green hackle now being worn by the Argylls battalion is no doubt a continuation of that regiment's association with the colour green, most prominent in the hue of their regimental kilts and stripes on their regimental association ties. The Regimental Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland does not wear the hackle. However, the Highland Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland continues to wear the red hackle with the Tam o' Shanter. Tradition holds that the black hackle originated as a Scottish tradition of wearing a black feather in your hat to signify you have an ongoing quarrel with someone.
Former non-fusilier regiments, now amalgamated, which wore the hackle were: 40 Regiment, Royal Corps of Signals: Navy blue, sky blue and green. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders:: White Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders: Black Cock Feather Black Watch: Red The Cameronians: Black Gordon Highlanders: Feather bonnet only - Drummers and Drum Major: White, Bandsmen: Red and White Gordon Highlanders: Black Cock Feather Highland Light Infantry: White over red The Highlanders: Royal blue The Highlanders: White The Highlanders: Eagle feather Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders: Royal blue Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders: White Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders: Eagle feather Queen's Own Highlanders: Royal blue Queen's Own Highlanders: White Queen's Own Highlanders: Eagle feather Queen's Royal Irish Hussars: White over red Royal Irish Rangers: Green Royal Corps
Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area, segmented into four concentric circles. It is related to bowls and shuffleboard. Two teams, each with four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones called rocks, across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice; each team has eight stones, with each player throwing two. The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game. A game consists of eight or ten ends; the curler can induce a curved path by causing the stone to turn as it slides, the path of the rock may be further influenced by two sweepers with brooms, who accompany it as it slides down the sheet and sweep the ice in front of the stone. "Sweeping a rock" decreases the friction, which makes the stone travel a straighter path and a longer distance. A great deal of strategy and teamwork go into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone for each situation, the skills of the curlers determine the degree to which the stone will achieve the desired result.
This gives curling its nickname of "chess on ice". Evidence that curling existed in Scotland in the early 16th century includes a curling stone inscribed with the date 1511 uncovered when an old pond was drained at Dunblane, Scotland; the world's oldest curling stone and the world's oldest football are now kept in the same museum in Stirling. The first written reference to a contest using stones on ice coming from the records of Paisley Abbey, Renfrewshire, in February 1541. Two paintings, "Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap" and "The Hunters in the Snow" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder depict Flemish peasants curling, albeit without brooms; the word curling first appears in print in 1620 in Perth, Scotland, in the preface and the verses of a poem by Henry Adamson. The sport was known as "the roaring game" because of the sound the stones make while traveling over the pebble; the verbal noun curling is formed from the Scots verb curl. Kilsyth Curling Club claims to be the first club in the world, having been formally constituted in 1716.
Kilsyth claims the oldest purpose-built curling pond in the world at Colzium, in the form of a low dam creating a shallow pool some 100 by 250 metres in size. The International Olympic Committee recognises the Royal Caledonian Curling Club as developing the first official rules for the sport. In the early history of curling, the playing stones were flat-bottomed stones from rivers or fields, which lacked a handle and were of inconsistent size and smoothness; some early stones had holes for the thumb, akin to ten-pin bowling balls. Unlike today, the thrower had little control over the'curl' or velocity and relied more on luck than on precision and strategy; the sport was played on frozen rivers although purpose-built ponds were created in many Scottish towns. For example, the Scottish poet David Gray describes whisky-drinking curlers on the Luggie Water at Kirkintilloch. In Darvel, East Ayrshire, the weavers relaxed by playing curling matches using the heavy stone weights from the looms' warp beams, fitted with a detachable handle for the purpose.
Many a wife would keep her husband's brass curling stone handle on the mantelpiece, brightly polished until the next time it was needed. Central Canadian curlers used'irons' rather than stones until the early 1900s. Outdoor curling was popular in Scotland between the 16th and 19th centuries because the climate provided good ice conditions every winter. Scotland is home to the international governing body for curling, the World Curling Federation in Perth, which originated as a committee of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, the mother club of curling. Today, the sport is most established in Canada, having been taken there by Scottish emigrants; the Royal Montreal Curling Club, the oldest established sports club still active in North America, was established in 1807. The first curling club in the United States was established in 1830, the sport was introduced to Switzerland and Sweden before the end of the 19th century by Scots. Today, curling is played all over Europe and has spread to Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Korea.
The first world championship for curling was limited to men and was known as the Scotch Cup, held in Falkirk and Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1959. The first world title was won by the Canadian team from Regina, skipped by Ernie Richardson. Curling was one of the first sports, popular with women and girls. Curling has been a medal sport in the Winter Olympic Games since the 1998 Winter Olympics, it includes men's, women's and mixed doubles tournaments. In February 2002, the International Olympic Committee retroactively decided that the curling competition from the 1924 Winter Olympics (originally called Semaine des Sports d'Hiver, or Int