A clan gathering which would usually take place at a north-east highland games is set to take place online this weekend.
Clan Farquharson will host one of the world’s first virtual Scottish clan gatherings.
Its normal annual gathering takes place at the Ballater Highland Games, which has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead Clan Farquharson members will gather online for a week-long programme of events to celebrate the Clan’s history, heritage and international community.
Led by their 101-year-old Clan Chief, Captain Alwyne Farquharson of Invercauld MC, members will enjoy musical performances, interviews, virtual tours, film, social get-togethers and competitions and will fundraise for the family seat at Braemar Castle.
It is Scotland’s only community-run castle, and is undergoing improvements and repairs.
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Jonathan Findlay, president, Clan Farquharson UK said: “Scottish Clan societies are an important way to celebrate a shared culture and a passion for Scotland’s history and traditions.
“While we are unable to meet in person this year, we felt it was important that we find a way to come together for a celebration that will maintain and strengthen our UK and international clan ties.
“We have Clan Farquharson societies in the UK, USA, Canada, Jamaica, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand plus many other individual clan members right across the globe.
“We are greatly looking forward to connecting with as many of them as possible and to supporting Braemar Community in their fundraising appeal to restore the castle.”
The online gathering includes virtual tours of the castle and Royal Deeside, a hybrid whisky tasting, theatrical podcasts and an International Clan Banquet – a black-tie event combining breakfast, lunch and dinner across the globe, depending on the diner’s time zone.
Members will learn more about the Clan Farquharson’s history and heritage and can watch a streamed ceremony of remembrance at the Clan Cairn commemorating Clan members who have passed away in the last year.
Other activities will include a best-dressed Clansperson competition, and a virtual quiz.
There are also children’s activities including 4 Minecraft challenges involving a reconstruction of Braemar Castle, a reproduction of the Farquharson Tartan, an archery competition and a Hill run.
More than 5 million people across the globe have a family connection to the Farquharson Clan, which has more than 200 associated surnames.
Catriona Skene, Fundraising Officer for Braemar Community’s “Raising the Standard” appeal, said: “We are thrilled to be part of this special event as we feel the bond between Clan and Castle are continuing to grow and strengthen.
“During these challenging times it is invigorating to be part of the virtual gathering partnership enabling Braemar Castle to connect with the Clan remotely.”
Further information on Clan Farquharson’s Virtual Clan gathering can be found at www.clanvirtual.com