For something completely unique to Orkney, do not miss the Kirkwall Ba’, and the Stromness Yule Log. Both of these traditional Orkney games attract droves of spectators, as hundreds of local payers vie for their coveted, territorial prize. The Kirkwall Ba’ is a game of two teams — the Uppies and the Doonies, who clash in the middle of the town on Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. They must battle it out in a passionate scrum for the prized hand-crafted leather ball — the ba’ — aiming to get it to their own goal, at opposite ends of the town.
The Stromness Yule log is played on Hogmanay, and brings the town’s “Soothenders” and “Northenders” together for a tug of war like no other. Watch this mighty struggle to drag the log to opposing goals at either end of the town, all before a dazzling show of fireworks — a brilliant way to start your New Year’s Eve celebrations!