At Keltfest there is much more to experience and see. How about the Highland Games, Bagpipe competitions and several crafts? In short: something to see, do or try for everyone. Make sure to check all those activities at Keltfest.


Highland Dancing competitie tijdens Keltfest 2019 Vijfhuizen onderdeel van highland games

Highland Dancing Competition

What would the Highland Games be without an Highland Dancing competition?

Nothing captures the spirit of the Scottish culture better than Highland Dancing during Highland Games. Nowadays, most dancers are female, but the roots of these dances lay in the military clan culture and Scottish folklore.
Originally, Highland Dancing was only for men. The Clan chiefs used the different dances to pick their best men. The men showed off their strength, technique, and stamina during dancing.

In Highland dancing, the dancers dance on the balls of the feet Highland dancing is a form of solo step dancing, from which it evolved, but while some forms of step dancing are purely percussive in nature, Highland dancing involves not only a combination of steps but also some integral upper body, arm, and hand movements.

Some Highland dances do derive from traditional social dances, however. An example is the Highland Reel, also known as the Foursome Reel, in which groups of four dancers alternate between solo steps facing one another and a figure-of-eight style with intertwining progressive movement. Even so, in competitions, the Highland Reel dancers are judged individually. Most Highland dances are danced solo.

Categories in Scottish Highland dances

Scottish Highland dances are generally divided into several types. Categories are more for convenience than strict style:

  • Highland dances (such as the Highland Fling and Sword Dance), danced in Kilt
  • National dances (such as the Scottish Lilt, Flora McDonald’s Fancy), danced in National or Aboyne dress
  • Character dances (such as the Sailor’s Hornpipe and Irish jig)

The best known dances are the Highland Fling and the Sword Dance. In the Sword Dance the dancers dance over two crossed swords, representing their own sword and that of the enemy.

It is important that the dancer does not touch the swords – nowadays touching the sword has a penalty of losing points or even disqualification, in the olden days it was seen as a bad omen for the upcoming battle. In the Highland Fling the dancers aim to dance in one spot and their arms represent the antlers of a deer.

National dances are more feminine and ballet like, and allow for softer movements.

Continental Bagpipe Championships NOVDB Vijfhuizen Keltfest 2019


Continental Pipe Band Championships 2019

On Saturday the 25th of may the Scottish Meadow at the Keltfest will be completely taken over by pipe bands from the Scottish Highlands. Just like on the grounds at the Scottish Highlands, several bands from Netherlands, Belgium and Germany will compete in different events against each other trying to claim the title of “Continental Pipe Band Champions”.

Depending on the event the band will compete in they will play a selection of music. Some from a prescribed tunes list defined by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, some are allowed to pick their own music.

These events will be adjudicated by official judges provided by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band

Association and are flown in for this event. The bands will be adjudicated on musicality for the bagpipe players. The drummers will be judged by a separate judge. Together these results will make up the final price list for the competing bands.

After all of the performances all the bands will join together to play in a final “Massed Band” before the price giving will commence.

On Sunday may 26th there will be several bands on and about the Scottish Meadow who will al be giving you their best performances throughout the day.

highland games keltfest 2019

Highland Games

The Highland Games: the ultimate showdown between clans!

The Highland games are thousands of years old. Since 1700 nothing has been changed in the rules and events of the games. The games originate from the bloody battles between the clans in Scotland. Since there are games instead of fights, a whole lot less blood is spilled. The clans still compete for the honour of their family, often distinguishable by the pattern on their Kilt.

Nowadays, Highland games are held all over the world. The Dutch Championship was firstly held in 1990 in Sneek. The winner was Wout Zijlstra. He will also host our own Highland games during Keltfest 2019. The Dutch Championship exists of multiple competitions, resulting in an overall ranking. The person with most points over the entire championship wins. These competitions are held under the watchful eye of the International Highland Games Federation. This federation organises the European, and World Championship as well.

Come enjoy this ultimate display of strength and experience the feel of the old Scotland.

More information will follow soon

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