The opening weekend of the Royal National Mod was a huge success as it returned to Oban for the first time in six years.
Scotland’s biggest celebration of Gaelic music and culture runs until Saturday, and thousands of visitors and competitors are expected to travel from across the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA for the spectacle.
The Mod opened with a torchlit procession through the town followed by fringe events including concerts and live music in pubs.
The official opening was performed by Rev Dr Angus Morrison, and the weekend included the Mod Cup shinty and football matches and a Fiddlers’ Rally concert.
On Saturday the main competitions kicked off, with under 19s and over competitions in piping, fiddle, accordion and melodeon.
Throughout the week thousands of competitors will compete in another 180 competitions in Highland dancing, Gaelic music and song, sport, literature and drama.
John Morrison, chief executive of organising body An Comunn Gàidhealach, said: “It has been a tremendous start to the Mod and a particular pleasure to return to Oban, which has once again proven itself to be a wonderful and welcoming host.
“We are only three days in and already we have seen the bar set for the rest of the festival week’s competitions. Some of the most coveted awards and events are still to come and we’re all eager to see who takes away the gold medals on Thursday.”
Children’s competitions will continue throughout today and tomorrow.
Tomorrow, the Scottish Government will also outline its Gaelic language plan – which has proved controversial in the north-east – while Calmac will be hosting a tourism seminar all day, at the Phoenix Cinema.
Wednesday will include the adult competitions, including the literature awards, the silver pendant final, traditional gold medal qualifying and the gold medal qualifying and final.
On Thursday, the much-anticipated traditional gold medal final will take place and on Friday, super-choir Soisgeul – under the direction of Mary Anne Kennedy – will entertain the crowds as the Lovat and Tullibardine trophy is awarded.
The Mod will close on Saturday with a procession of massed choirs going through the town in a sing-song.