The Trooping of the Colour Swan Upping Highland Games
The Queen is the only person in Britain with two birthdays. Her real birthday is on April, 21st, but she has an “official” birthday, too. That’s on the second Saturday in June. And on the Queen’s official birthday, there is a traditional ceremony called the Trooping of the Colour. It’s a big parade with brass bands and hundreds of soldiers at Horse Guards’ Parade in London. A “regiment” of the Queen’s soldiers, the Guards, march in front of her. At the front of the parade is the regiment’s flag or “colour”.The Guards are trooping the colour. Thousands of Londoners and visitors watch in Horse Guards’ Parade. And millions of people at home watch it on television.
Swan Upping is an annual ceremonial and practical activity in Britain in which mute swans on the River Thames are rounded up, caught, marked, and then released.Traditionally, the Monarch of the United Kingdom owns all unmarked mute swans on the River Thames. This dates from the 12th century, during which swans were a common food source for royalty. Swan upping is a means of establishing a swan census, and today also serves to check the health of swans.
Highland games are events held throughout the year in Scotland and other countries as away of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands. Certain aspects of the games are so well known as to have become emblematic of Scotland, such as the bagpipes, the kilt, and the heavy events, especially the caber toss. While centred on competitions in piping and drumming, dancing, and Scottish heavy athletics, the games also include entertainment and exhibits related to other aspects of Scottish and Gaelic culture.
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