ALONG with the growing interest in Gaelic culture, the Royal National Mod is flourishing into a celebration that is more inclusive and accessible than ever.

This year the biggest Gaelic festival in the world returns to Glasgow for the first time since 1990 for Mòd Ghlaschu, nine days filled with music, arts, and sport.

The birth of the Mòd came in 1891, and ever since then it has been organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, which, for more than a century, has supported the teaching, learning, and use of the Gaelic language as well as the study and cultivation of Gaelic literature, history, music and art.

The festival has held its royal charter since 1992, becoming Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail (The Royal National Mòd).

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The main focus of the Mòd is competition, something that attracts the best in Gaelic sport and culture from Gaelic communities throughout the UK, Ireland, Australia, Canada and the US.

Whether they are looking to compete or spectate, visitors can enjoy more than 200 competitive events in highland dancing, sport, literature, and drama, as well as Gaelic music and song. For example, this year sees the welcome return of the London Gaelic Choir after an absence from the Mòd.

Of course this is the biggest platform to promote Gaelic language and culture, but with the huge number of visitors, it also boosts the local economy of each year’s destination. Last year’s event generated around £2m for host location Dunoon and organisers are confident they’ll see a similar impact in Glasgow.

Mòd Ghlaschu 2019 offers new events, including its first women’s football match, reflecting not only the thriving interest in the women’s game but Scotland’s successes in it.
This will be held as part of a full day of sport on Glasgow Green, which also features a male football game at junior and senior levels as well as shinty competitions.

Also on Literature day, supported by the SQA, there will be the appointment of a new bard and this year will be the beginning of a new bard being appointed every year. Up until now, the bard has been in place for three or four years. Again, this is a sign of the robust health of Gaelic Literature. This year there will also be two book launches from authors Maoilios Caimbeul and Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh.

This year’s Mòd begins on Friday, October 11 at the City Chambers with the official launch and the presentation to the Gaelic Ambassador of the Year by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

The opening night events then move into George Square, where anyone can enjoy an evening filled with bands and choir performances as well as drama recitals.

The Herald:

Apart from the reputation for excellence in the levels of competition, the event’s success can be linked to the work that An Comunn Gàidhealach and the Mòd do with Feisgoil and Glasgow Language Provision Schools, which help to encourage Gaelic language learning in the early development phase. There have been more than 600 sessions delivered so far, and it has had a direct impact on the number of entrants for this year’s competitions.

However, it isn’t all about competition, however. The Mòd Fringe is a programme of ceilidhs, concerts, sports and literature among many others.

One of the highlights of this year’s Fringe is the Celtic Praise event. This evening event at Princes Square on Sunday, October 13, is a unique blend of Gospel singing where Gaelic and English-speaking gospel choirs come together.

Rounding off the week on Friday, October 18, is The Final Fling, with the Barrowlands hosting the liveliest  in traditional music, with Skerryvore and Trail West inviting everyone to wear their dancing shoes and celebrate another week of making Gaelic culture a global affair.

John Morrison, Chief Executive of An Commun Gaidhealach,  says: “It is an exciting time for everyone in the Gaelic community with the Royal National Mod just round the corner.

"This year is set to be a busy year with a whole host of highlights to look forward to – our return to Glasgow, after 19 years, is exciting and we look forward to a busy week featuring every kind of discipline – from sport to choral singing – this Mòd has it all. We wish all of the competitors the best of luck.”

Mòd Ghlaschu 2019 takes place from October 11 to 19.
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Tickets for competitions and event are now on sale and can be purchased online at