The competition began to get more hectic at the Royal National Mod in Inverness yesterday, with a 10% increase in the number of under 18-year-olds entering the singing events.
There were 31 junior events in singing, drama and poetry will take place in Eden Court, Inverness Cathedral and the Netley Centre with 800 competitors performing.
The biggest Fringe in Mod history continued with yesterday’s highlights including an exhibition at Inverness Museum and Art Gallery inspired by the Gaelic language in traditional crafts, Feis Rois musicians performing at Urquhart Castle as well as performances at Fort George and Culloden Battlefield.
Music of the Pipes at Inverness Town House saw a stunning recital by Angus Nicolson and last night there was an evening concert, sponsored by CalMac, starring Urban Teuchters with Kathleen Macinnes and Sineag Macintyre joined on the bill by Jenna Cumming and Barluath.
Ferry company CalMac which employs 1,400, is marking its 13th year associated with the Mod, and this year is hosting three concerts with receptions beforehand and explaining to guests the importance of the company to the country’s economy.
John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gaidhealach said: “It is always wonderful to start the Mod with the children’s competitions and we saw some excellent performances.
“It’s is encouraging to see an increase of entries from children, and this year we have seen a 10% of under 18s entering traditional singing events.
“I am also delighted that Bord na Gaidhlig have reported a steady growth of children entering P1 Gaelic medium education, and now it is our job to help keep these youngsters engaged in Gaelic culture.
“Events like the Mod allow children and adults alike to compete against, meet and have fun with their peers.
“Our Gaelic Ambassador of the year 2014, Kirsteen MacDonald, comes from a non-Gaelic speaking household in Inverness and is an inspiring example of how Gaelic education, and being a Mod gold-medallist of course, can open doors professionally and is a valuable asset in modern Scotland.
“We hope we spread this message across Inverness, Scotland and beyond this week and inspire the participation in Gaelic language and culture.”
Children’s competitions will continue throughout Tuesday, and Wednesday will see the adult competitions including the coveted literature awards, Gold Medal qualifying, the Silver Pendant final and traditional Gold Medal qualifying.