New Year's Day Ba'

One of Orkney's favourite traditions!

Legend has it that one of its most famous local traditions can be said to trace its origins to the period when Norse Earls ruled Orkney - The Ba'. Whatever its roots, this game has been played in the streets of Kirkwall on Christmas Day and New Year's Day for hundreds of years by two local teams - the Uppies and the Doonies. The names are derived from 'up the gates' and 'doon the gates', which can be traced to the Old Norse word 'gata' meaning a road or path.

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