True Highland games on ‘The Bachelorette’ bring lore to American viewers, and it’s spectacular AF

The time has come for Bachelorette Hannah to see if her men can take care of her overseas. That’s right – it’s travel time again and the first big place of the season takes the crew to Scotland. Besides the hope of seeing the dudes in kilts, you’ll also get an unexpected history lesson in the lore. The real Highland Games is one of Scotland’s greatest treasures and has been part of Scottish culture for hundreds of years.

In case you’re lost in what I’m talking about, Highland Games events are unique, combining sports competitions and social and cultural events. They officially take place between Cowal and Tomintoul. Sports competitions may include track and field events, dance competitions, tug of war competitions, hammer throwing, caber throwing, and piping. Some will have livestock, parades, best pet costumes, etc., and can go on all night. According to the Scotland.org website, “The Braemar Gathering, held in September, is the largest and the most prestigious event of the Highland Games and benefits from the annual presence of the royal family. “It’s a real party and the perfect place for Hannah to see what men are made of. The whole experience, a mix of heritage, community and celebration, is what you’re looking for.

Although primarily a Scottish thing, the games now stretch quite far. One-day events are held around the world. The “season” usually begins in May, peaks in mid-summer and ends in September. Seeing like the bachelorette already filmed, their version of the Highland Games may have been created for TV, or is a version of the real deal adapted for the timeline.

If that’s not enough to motivate you for this action-packed episode, some Highland games include “haggis hurling” in which a haggis is thrown, an anvil throw where a blacksmith’s anvil is thrown with dynamite (yikes) and a watermelon hunt to depict the hunt for “Nessie”, the monster of Loch Ness. Don’t worry, these melons are redeemed for real prizes. I already have a few eligible singles in mind for a few of these games, and I’m sure Hannah does too. Regardless of how this shindig plays out, I have a feeling some guys will aggressively try to steal the show, while others will spend their time getting to know Season 15’s reigning queen.

Past seasons of the franchise have had competitors in all kinds of competitive games. There’s no line too far to cross when it comes to love – especially if the Single Where Bachelorette takes the competitors abroad. It wasn’t until last season, when Hannah was vying for the heart of Colton Underwood, that she and the other women dared to eat some of the local delicacies (bugs). Hannah hasn’t missed a beat so I’m sure she’ll be more into guys who take the initiative (while respecting other men). Either way, this version of the Highland Games will likely come with a few injuries, broken hearts, and probably some training sessions.

ABC/Marc Bourdillon

Personally, I would rule by tug of war, but I’m not the one trying to win Hannah’s heart. Showmen, make me proud.


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Jennifer R. Strohm