So it is nearly Burn’s Night. (25th Jan) What does it mean? Well of course it is a celebration of Scotland’s greatest poet, the man who’s song you pretend to sing every New Year although you actually don’t know any of the words! “For old acquaintance long forgot and some thing something soMMMETHINGGGGG!”
You probably also hear the phrase “Of mice and men” but had not idea that it came from a touching poem Robert Burns wrote to a mouse who’s tiny home he cut down while harvesting a field. Everyone of us though, is familiar with the concept of our hard work and planning for the future being torn from us suddenly and unpredictably. “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley.”
What does it mean to me being Scottish and living elsewhere most of my life? Well firstly it is sort of embarrassing, wherever in the world I happen to be, no matter how far from the secretive mountains of home I may travel my mum phones me up and reads me poetry! Long poetry! Also why do we call a sheep’s stomach filled with every bit of a sheep a “PUDDING?” And have a poem praising it? Surely puddings are sweet things for Christmas. Many times have I gone to burns night and eaten haggis, neeps and tatties (which is mutton, swede (yellow turnip) and potatoes) with a piper piping in the pudding as if it was something special. Lets be honest, a whole wild Scottish salmon is special, unspeakable bit of sheep not so much!
Yet it holds the heart, the Scottish thing, it makes me proud, it makes me happy, it makes me miss mountains like the love of a friend now gone. The songs, the culture, the courage all run in my veins like a sugar in a toddler! I rise in heart and mind when I hear those pipes and I long for misty loch shores when the neeps and tatties are served! All the borders in the world are not drawn across maps at all, nor can they truly be guarded by machine guns, for I have found that they are written on the hearts of men and women, who will keep them there (with any absurd tradition you care to name) no matter what politicians declare to be our truth.
Happy Burns night to you. Kirsteen
What is Burns Night?
Burns Night, honors the iconic Scottish poet Robert Burns, who wrote the New Year’s Eve anthem Auld Lang Syne. Many Scots host a Burns supper on January 25, the poet’s birthday, although they can be held throughout the year. Some of the suppers can be grand affairs; others less formal. The events will often feature a bagpiper or traditional Scottish music, and the Scottish pudding, Haggis, is served.
What is Burns Supper
A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796), the author of many a Scots poem. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet’s birthday, 25 January, known as Burns Night (Scots: Burns Nicht; Scottish Gaelic: Oidhche na Taigeise; also called Robert Burns Day or Rabbie Burns Day). However, in principle, celebrations may be held at any other time of the year. Burns suppers are held all around the world.