There are two principal opportunities for Clan Hay to foregather in Scotland in 2014.
Bannockburn Live: 27th-29th June 2014 in Stirling
Over the weekend of Friday 27th to Sunday 29th June, Stirling played host to a spectacular series of events in celebration of Scotland’s greatest ever victory at the Battle of Bannockburn 700 years ago.
The weekend kicked off on Friday 27th June with Pipefest Stirling, a parade of 1200 pipers, drummers, Highland dancers and clan societies. Marching through the city, the was led by the Atholl Highlanders and set off from the main entrance to the ancient royal palace of Stirling Castle at 6.30 pm. The Clan Hay Pipe Band was privileged to take part.
On Saturday 28th June, Stirling led the nation in celebrating Armed Forces Day, a national tribute to the ongoing work and past sacrifices of the men and women of the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force. The Highland regiments of the British Army were prominent in events in the city throughout the day.
Bannockburn Live, a two day extravaganza in celebration of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in June 1314, took place on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th June. Clan Hay was at the heart of these events, as our forebears proudly were all those generations ago.
These events were staged at the brand new, state of the art Bannockburn Visitor Centre in Stirling, which has been breathtakingly refurbished for the occasion. There were three dramatic re-enactments of the battle on each of the two days, performed by experienced battlefield groups, which recreated for us the full sensation and horror of the medieval battlefield.
These are just some of the highlights which delighted visitors to Bannockburn Live:
* New Bannockburn Visitor Centre utilising 3D technology so you could experience medieval combat like never before.
* The iconic monument to Robert the Bruce has been fully restored, incorporating a specially commissioned commemorative poem by Kathleen Jamie inscribed on the ring beam of the rotunda.
* Storyville – a festival of Scottish literature and traditional music, including a stage featuring folk and contemporary music, throughout both days.
* Festival of Scottish food and drink, including tastings and demonstrations.
* Craft stalls and demonstrations, exploring traditional arts and crafts including opportunities to try them for yourself and activities for children.
* Encampments recreating the preparation for battle and medieval communities, including a working kitchen, blacksmiths, armourers and 14th century houses.
* Festival of Scottish nature, including hands-on bushcraft, wildlife and outdoor activities in the ‘Natural World’ village.
* Traditional Sports festival, including archery and traditional Highland Games events.
* Exploring your Scottish roots through the Clan village, where many of the Clan societies, including Clan Hay, were represented.
The Clan Hay Society had a tent in the Clan Village and offered hospitality to Hays throughout both days.
Clan Hay hosted Tartan Ties, a traditional ceilidh dance with supper, in nearby Blair Drummond Hall on the evening of Saturday 28th June. This event, generously supported by Event Scotland’s Scottish Clan Event Fund, is conceived to bring together Clan Hay Society members with members of the local community.
Aboyne Games weekend: 1st to 3rd August 2014
The annual gathering of Clan Hay will take place as usual at the Aboyne Highland Games on Saturday 2nd August 2014. Clan Hay will be one of about 10 of the main Aberdeenshire families with hospitality tents in the Clan Village on the games field. (Others include Clans Gordon, Irvine, Burnett, Farquharson, Forbes, Fraser, Leslie and Leask.)
The Aboyne Games is one of the major Highland Games of the circuit and a ‘must see’ event for anyone in the area who is looking to experience the traditional culture of Scotland. Athletic events include the traditional ‘heavy’ sports of tossing the caber, throwing the light and heavy hammer, putting the light and heavy stone, throwing the weight by ring and throwing the weight over the bar. There are also competitions between pipe bands, individual pipers and Highland dancers. See www.aboynegames.com
On the evening of Friday 1st August, Clan Hay will hold a ceilidh from 7.00 pm in Crathes Village Hall, around 12 miles east of Aboyne. The cost is £25.00 per person.
On Sunday 3rd August, Hays will meet at midday for a picnic at Old Slains, the Aberdeenshire home of the Earl of Erroll, Chief of Clan Hay. (Bring your own picnic.)
Guided tours of the two castles of Slains – the ruins of the “old” castle at Collieston and of the “new” castle four miles north at Cruden Bay – will be available from 2.00 pm. For those so inclined, there will be an opportunity to join a guided clifftop walk from Slains Castle to the spectacular Bullars o’ Buchan on the Aberdeenshire cliffs. (Please note that, while the castle tours are accessible to most people, those joining the clifftop walk need to be physically able to walk the five mile distance over rough ground in no more than two hours, along a potentially treacherous clifftop path.)
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