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Swiss muscles vie for Highland Games glory

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Swiss muscles vie for Highland Games glory
11:56 CEST+02:00
Tossing the caber and blowing the bagpipes while cavorting in kilts may seem like incongruous activities in the heart of Switzerland, but they're all part of an annual ritual in St. Ursen.

For the tenth year in a row, the strongest lads and lassies and the bonniest musicians are assembling this weekend in the German-speaking town in the canton of Fribourg for the Swiss championships of the “wùy-ù-ay" Highland Games.

Contestants will vie for honours in athletic events involving throwing tree trunks and stones weighing more than 15 kilograms, as well as musical and dancing contests.

This year, 46 men and seven women will be competing in athletic events in four traditional disciplines, according to organizers.

The disciplines include putting the stone, tossing the caber and weight for height and weight for distance strength tests,

In music competitions, 74 pipers and drummers are taking part, along with five pipe bands.

Dancing and concerts with Swiss and British groups will kick off the event on Friday night.

Bands celebrating Irish and Scottish folk music are slated to perform on Saturday.

Piper Robert Watt, a winner of the world highland bagpipe championships from Northern Ireland, is one of the honoured guests at the event, which takes place every year on the last weekend of August.

Stalls will be selling traditional Scottish food and souvenirs from the land of Robert Burns.

For more information check out the website (in English).

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