Robbie Burns Day
Every year on January 25, thousands and thousands the world over get together in their own ways to remember the great Scottish poet, Robert Burns (January 25 was his birthday). Most popular among the celebrations are Burns Suppers, which come in all shapes and sizes. Some individuals celebrate with a rigid seriousness and incredibly formal dinner affair, while others prefer a more casual evening. I’d venture to say that some people who don’t even know who Robert Burns was use the Bard’s birthday as an excuse to do some heavy partying.
A Burns Supper is usually marked with a traditional Scottish meal — think haggis, clapshot (turnip and potatoes mashed together, otherwise known as ‘neeps and tatties’), and whiskey — and followed after with the recitation of select Burns poems and lyrics. Interestingly enough, I have some friends who in past years have even written their own songs and poems in memory of the Bard.
For those of you who don’t know, Robert Burns, “Rabbie” as he’s known in his homeland, was one of the original founders of Romanticism (before it actually became a recognized movement). Burns is known as the national poet of Scotland, and for being a brilliant scholar who had a lasting influence on Scottish literature.
It wasn’t until after his death that the idea of Burns Night came into being, and is today celebrated around around the world. In fact, it’s been said that Robbie Burns Day is more celebrated than St. Andrew’s Day (the actual official national day of Scotland).