Highland Games at Sychrov Castle

Expats.cz looks at the annual celebration of Scottish culture

Paul Ratner

Written by Paul Ratner Published on 05.08.2010 09:56:13 (updated on 05.08.2010) Reading time: 2 minutes

August 20th presents a unique opportunity to unleash your inner Sean Connery.  The 10th annual Highland Games are upon us with their hearty mix of kilts, archery, toe-dancing, falconry, haggis and whisky. It is a lively celebration of all things Scottish that will have more than enough Celtic magic for everyone in your family.

It may seem unusual to celebrate Celtic culture all the way in the CZ but as the organizer of the Highland Games, Vasek Rout, points out – it’s fascinating to people here because “it’s something different, not Germanic…” Appreciation for Celtic culture has been spreading through Europe since the 60s and the annual Highland Games attract up to 10,000 people a day.  “It’s the only traditional Scottish event in Central Europe” says Rout, himself a highland pipes master who has played for world dignitaries. Every year his Games attract the top Scottish bands, like the popular MALINKY last year and the legendary BATLLEFIELD BAND the year before. This year is no exception, featuring acts like KUKULÍN and ROUGH TIDES among many others.

How did Rout develop such an interest in Scottish Culture? “Someone likes blondes, someone likes brunettes…” he jokes. He likes Scottish Culture so much that he organizes other events throughout the year, like Burns Night , various recitals, concerts and whisky tastings.  Events that bring expats, Czechs and Druids together.

DETAILS: The games begin at 10 AM on August 20th at Sychrov Castle .  The festivities which feature dozens of hours of culture, start off with “energetic” Celtic-inspired music from the band VINTAGE WINE.  There is an all day LIVING HISTORY presentation with historic camps and seminars. Falconry and kids program also run all day long. Qualifications for sports events start at 9:00 and everybody can try out to get into the Final where all the best compete from 15:30. The Official Opening of the Games is at 13:00. The rest of the day is filled to the brim with various music and dance acts, exploring Celtic culture from traditional as well as modern, electronic standpoints. Events will continue until midnight and of course there is food!  Both Scottish and Czech cuisines.

Tickets can be bought in advance from Ticketstream for 350 CZK or you can also buy them at the festival for 400 CZK.

More info on the Games: www.skotskehry.cz

DIRECTIONS: The Highland Games are taking place at Sychrov Castle – a beautiful neo-Gothic structure with a large park which is something to see in and of itself. To reach it, Vasek Rout recommends going by car on the highway towards Liberec. It should take you 40-50 minutes to get there.

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