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Clanmother International Bagpipe Day Scotland

International Bagpipe Day

Twelve highlanders and a bagpipe make a rebellion.

Proverb

March 10 marks a special day for all bagpipe enthusiasts around the world: International Bagpipe Day. This day is dedicated to celebrating the traditional instrument and its many forms.

The bagpipe has a long and varied history, having been played in many cultures for centuries. It is believed to have originated in the Middle East, and it has been used in various forms in Europe, Africa, and the Americas. The instrument has been used in military ceremonies, religious ceremonies, and for entertainment purposes.

Celebrating International Bagpipe Day at the Argyllshire Gathering, Oban Scotland.

International Bagpipe Day is a great opportunity for bagpipe fans to come together and celebrate the instrument’s unique sound and its place in the world. Festivities include concerts, workshops, and competitions. There are also special events for children, such as bagpipe-making classes and performances.

No matter where you are in the world, International Bagpipe Day is a great way to honor the traditional instrument and its many forms.

The Argyllshire Gathering is an annual event held in Oban, Scotland at the end of August. The Gathering was founded in 1871 when several families of Argyll decided to come together annually to socialize and to compete against each other. Since its inception, the Argyllshire Gathering has become a much-anticipated event in the local community and beyond, with people from all over the world attending.

The Gathering is a celebration of Argyll’s culture and heritage, with a variety of activities taking place throughout the week. These include Highland Games, Highland Dancing, piping competitions, and other traditional events. There is also a range of cultural activities, such as ceilidhs, music sessions, and talks. The Gathering also has a strong focus on education, with workshops, lectures, and seminars taking place throughout the week.

Oban, Scotland is a spectacular coastal town located on the west coast of Scotland. It is known as the “Gateway to the Isles” due to its proximity to the Inner Hebrides islands. Oban is a popular tourist destination due to its stunning views and picturesque harbor.

In 1814, Sir Walter Scott visited the area, the same year in which he published his poem The Lord of the Isles, which recounts the story of Robert the Bruce from his exile in Ireland to the successful culmination of his struggle to secure Scottish independence from English.

As you can imagine, interest in Sir Water Scott’s poem brought many new visitors to Oban.

By Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

27 replies on “International Bagpipe Day”

I did not know there was an International Bagpipe Day. My favorite bagpiper is Carlos Nuñez. I also like the Chieftains. We saw both the Chieftains and Carlos Nuñez perform live in Spain more than once. Laurie and Tristan saw Carlos perform in Albuquerque several years ago. I was not able to go to that concert. Paddy Moloney, the Chieftains Piper, died in 2021 at 83.

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Carlos came to Vancouver, too! What an amazing bagpiper – very different style which confirms the diversity of bagpipe music. Bagpipers from SFU Bagpipe Band joined him on stage which filled the room with a huge sound. We were so happy that we were able to see the Chieftains before the passing of Paddy Maloney. Thank you for celebrating International Bagpipe Day with me!!

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I always thought Nero played the fiddle or the lyre while Rome burned, though this is disputed by some historians. But if you ask any bagpiper, Nero’s instrument of choice while Rome burned was the bagpipe. Many thanks for joining me in Oban and walking up the hill to the sound of bagpipes

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The Scottish Highland bagpipes are unmistakable – forceful and can be heard from long distances. The name of the traditional Irish bagpipes is the Uilleann pipes. These pipes are a type of bellows-blown bagpipe, and are the national bagpipe of Ireland. They are also known as “union pipes” due to their use of a union of bellows, chanter, and drones. These pipes have a more plaintive sound. The Uilleann pipes were in the Braveheart theme song at the end. https://youtu.be/9AN04imFDK8

I agree – it is good to see a nation’s traditions being continued by new generations.

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You must have thoroughly enjoyed yourself, Rebecca!
How strangely calming that piece of music was. And your video was wonderful. How delightful it must have been to be amongst such comradery.
I am remembering, somewhere in the back of my mind, that someone in your family (your son perhaps) has a strong connection to the bagpipes?

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You have an amazing memory Carolyn. Yes, my son was a bagpiper for several years before he became involved in his academic studies. We still follow the bagpipes and remain connected with the bagpiping community. You would love to participate in the Scottish Country Dancing, which can be quite complicated in the movements (at least it was for me). Thank you for traveling virtually with me to Oban and the Argyllshire Gathering.

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How lovely, Rebecca, to enjoy in this way and in your company the International Bagpipe Day at the Argyllshire Gathering in Oban Scotland. I certainly didn’t know that the instruments originally even come the Middle East. Many thanks:)

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I am delighted that you joined me on the walk up the hill to the sound of bagpipes, Martina. The origin of bagpipes is a bit of a mystery, but most historians agree that they have been around since ancient times, originating in the Middle East before they came to Europe via the Romans. However, I believe there is a great deal of history that remains unknown when it comes to this instrument. It is an exciting mystery. Thank you for your lovely comments.

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I love bagpipes, Rebecca! Now I know one of the festivals I’ll be attending when I head to Scotland. I wanted to take lessons when I was in my forties, but they aren’t easy instruments to learn at all. Thanks for sharing a super fun post and some great music for International Bagpipe Day.

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I am so glad that you have Scotland on your travel plans, Diana. It is a place that holds many stories, myths and legends. Let me know when you plan to visit and I’ll pack my bags and meet you at Oban. There is a short ferry ride from Oban to the Island of Iona where you will meet Columba, the descendant of an Irish King.

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