Annual Clan Hay Gathering 2011

The Clan Hay Society can now confirm the detail of its main annual gathering for 2011.

Taking place as usual in the Clan Hay's Aberdeenshire heartland, the main event will be the Aboyne Highland Games on Saturday 6th August.  The fun starts from about 10.30 on the Green in the village; car parking is free in the grounds of Aboyne Castle, courtesy of Games chieftain, the Marquis of Huntly.

The Massed Bands enter the Aboyne Games field in 2010

At 10.45, the pipe bands competing at the event will march through the village: a spectacular display of Scottish tradition.  At 12.00, the massed bands will play on the games field for the raising of the chieftain's banner and Lord Huntly, Chief of Clan Gordon, will declare the games open.  At 2.30, the massed bands will again play for the arrival of the Queen's representative, the Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire.  The bands will march in full regalia in the arena at 3.45, before performing the impressive cermony of Beating Retreat at 5.00.

Individual piping competitions begin at 10.30 with the Piobaireachd (sometimes called the classical music of the pipes) for young people under 18 and will continue until 4.30.  The heavy athletic events begin at the same time with stone putting and continue through hammer throwing, weight over the bar, throwing weight by ring and tug o' war before climaxing in that most traditional of Scottish heavy events, tossing the caber, at 4.30.  Track and field events begin at 11.00 and continue throughout the day.

Dancers at the 2010 games prepare to begin their routine

Highland dancing begins at 11.30 and includes competitions in Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Seann Triubhas, Flora Macdonald's Fancy and others until finishing with the Irish Jig at 3.45.  Fiddle competitions (Slow Air, March, Strathspey and Reel) begin at 11.00 and continue until 2.oo.

This is a classic example of a traditional Scottish games, where Clan Hay will take its place in the Clan Village which plays host to most of the major families of north east Scotland, including the Gordons, Farquharsons, Leasks, Forbeses, Irvines and Frasers, and where Hays from throughout the world can expect a warm welcome.  Events at Aboyne continue until around 5.30 pm.

On Sunday 7th August, the clan will foregather at the Clan Hay Centre, Delgatie Castle near Turriff, for a lunch hosted by the castle's custodian Mrs Joan Johnson.  Meeting from around 12.oo, lunch will be served at 12.30 and Clan Hay members and their guests will be welcome to spend the afternoon exploring the castle, a Hay seat since the 14th century, and its extensive estate.

This is a truly happy occasion for Hays from everywhere in the world to which all are welcome.  Full details can be obtained from Malcolm Hay on