Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd), Scotland’s biggest Gaelic Cultural Festival kick starts today, Friday 10th October.
Organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, one of the world’s oldest and most respected national Gaelic organisations, the nine day spectacular will see over 3000 competitors compete in 200 competitions in Highland Dancing, Gaelic Music and Song, Sport, Literature and Drama, offering Gaelic speakers of all levels the chance to compete.
The festival is returning to Inverness for the first time in 17 years, and as a signature event of the Highland Homecoming celebrations, it is an apt return to the Highland Capital.
The festival runs until Saturday 18th October and is expected to bring up to £2.5 million to the local economy as visitors and competitors travel from across Scotland, the UK, Canada, the USA and the United Arab Emirates for the event.
The Mòd will begin with the presentation of the coveted Gaelic Ambassador of the Year award at a special reception and by announcing its arrival in the city with a torchlight procession from Crown Primary School to Eden Court at 6.45pm, which is expected to be attended by hundreds of people.
The procession will be followed by the Opening Concert at Eden Court featuring the hugely popular and talented Skippinnish and emerging stars Gria.
The biggest Fringe in the Mòd’s 122 year history will be running alongside the competitions with over 70 events taking place.
There will be concerts featuring Cruinn and Skerryvore (plus many more), street theatre, the Shinty Mod Cup, meet the author events, pub music nights, children’s disco, come and try sessions and a ceilidh.
As well as bringing millions to the economy, the Mòd aims to have a lasting influence on Inverness and its residents in their appreciation and participation in Gaelic culture.
John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “We are delighted to be back in Inverness for a week of competitions and events. The city facilities, transport links and venues has meant we are able to host the biggest Mòd in our 122 year history.
“We hope Gaels and non-Gaels alike come and enjoy the festivities.
“We are very proud that we have seen a legacy in other areas that have hosted the Mòd including Caithness, Paisley and Falkirk, where there has been an increase in Gaelic awareness as a result, and we hope to see the same for Inverness.”
Keep up to date with news from the Mod at: www.stornowaygazette.co.uk