This year’s Am Mòd Nàiseanta Rìoghail kicked off last night in Stornoway, returning to the islands for the first time since 2011. 

Scotland’s biggest Gaelic cultural festival is organised by An Comunn Gàidhealach, which celebrates its 125th birthday this year.

Over the coming days, the festival will see over 200 competitions and events in highland dancing, sport, literature, drama, Gaelic music and song, with Gaelic speakers of all levels competing.

This year’s Fringe showcases the best of Gaelic arts and sport with events for all ages, including the Shinty Mòd Cup, Mòd football, a piping ceilidh, drama and several musical performances.

During the children’s Mòd on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th, young Gaels will have the chance to enjoy their own ceilidh and take part in puppet-led yoga taking place around Stornoway.

As well as the music and arts, various talks and exhibitions will run throughout the Mòd marking the contributions of Lewis communities to the Great War, and a lecture from Deputy First Minister John Swinney on ‘The Place of Gaelic in a Modern Scotland’.

Marking the opening of this year’s event, was the presentation of the Gaelic Ambassador of the Year, ahead of the annual Torchlight Procession through the streets of Stornoway. The Scottish Government’s 2016 Gaelic Ambassador of the Year went to sports broadcaster Alex O’Henley.  Previous winners of the Gaelic Ambassador of the Year Award are: 2015 Professor Boyd Robertson; 2014 Kirsteen MacDonald; 2013 John Norman Macleod; 2012 Ruairidh Maclean; 2011 Donald Martin; 2010 Allan Campbell; 2009 Anne Lorne Gillies; 2008 Julie Fowlis

In the evening, the opening ceremony took place at the Lewis Sports Centre, presented by the BBC’s and previous Mòd Gold Medal winner, Kirsteen MacDonald, with performances from Dàimh and the Mischa Macpherson Trio.