Last Saturday night was the annual Burns Supper. For those non-Scotophiles, this annual event occurs all over the world as people celebrate the birth of the poet laureate of Scotland, Robert Burns. His actual birthday is January 25, 1759. There is a common arrangement to a Burns Supper. First is The Selkirk Grace. which I have also heard in Norwegian.
Then comes the ceremonial Piping in The Haggis. Haggis is a sheeps stomach stuffed with innards, oats, and seasonings. Some people just love it and actually look forward to eating it. I am not one of them. The photo is my friend Kevin, carrying the haggis, with our Pipe Major and Pipe Instructor playing the pipes. The pipers, orator, and carrier of the haggis drink a shot or two of scotch and the haggis is cut with a sword. The person receiving the haggis recites Robert Burns poem "Address to a Haggis".
The food is traditional Scottish fare with haggis, bridie (meat pie), canned peas, neeps (rutabaga), and tatties (mashed potatoes). Scottish shortbread and ice cream are dessert. (I don't believe ice cream is traditional.)
After dinner the pipes are the center of attention as we march out for the Grand March and Waltz. The Parade of the Tartans were the "weans" (children) with my friend Heather piping and her wee Harry among the children in their kilts and folk dress. "The Company" dances traditional Scottish country dances. Other elements are the Toast to the Lassies, Reply to the Laddies, more dancing, more piping and the "Immortal Memory", a tribute to Robbie Burns. Finally, the Lone Piper and Auld Lang Syne with everyone in a huge circle holding hands and singing with the piper.
Happy Burns Day everyone! Cheers!