June 29, 2008
Yesterday we visited the Ceres highland games. This is an amazing event that has been held annually every year since it was commissioned by King Robert Bruce in 1315. The games themselves are a centerpiece of the town. We asked one gentleman working at the games how long he had been coming to them and his answer was "all me life, I've been coming ".
The games contain such contests as tug o' war, dancing, wrestling, tossing the caber, throwing the bell, Racing, and many more things. One instrument of battle used in the games is a giant 80 pound ball that is to be tossed as far as possible by the contestant. The particular ball here at Ceres has been used in every set of games for one hundred and five years or so! It is like stepping into a time machine to see all the strapping men in kilts throwing giant logs, pieces of mettle and anything else available.
Towards the end of the games a contingent of our men from the tour whent down into the arena and begain to try their hand at a few of the contests such as tossing the stone, and flinging iron bells. We had our own meny games in the middle of the arena. One of the gentlemen in charge of the games came up and congratulated us on our beginnings and began to tell "a wee' bit a' boot' tha' games". It was a tremendous thing to get to hurl giant stones over a field beside giant Scotsman dressed for battle.