…or Scottish for the night.
We were thrilled to be invited to a Burns Night Dinner which is a celebration of the life, works & cultural heritage of Robert Burns who was born in Scotland on 25 January 1759. He was a Scottish poet and lyricist. His most popular song being “Auld Lang Syne” which we sing every New Year’s Eve. Old habits die hard and, being a Protocol person, I looked up etiquette for the event, going so far as checking out the “Selected Poems of Robert Burns” and “The Poetical Works of Burns” from the local library. His poems were written about everyday life in everyday language (language of the time) which was the first of it’s kind back in the late 18th century. He was a poet for “the common people”. For much more accurate information about Burns’ Night, click here.
The Burns’ supper we attended last night was so much fun ~ our very gracious host and hostess didn’t force us to participate in any readings. Whew! He addressed the haggis with a long Burns’ poem and I think these words were included: “Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race! Aboon them a’ yet tak your place, Painch, tripe, or thairm: Weel are ye wordy o’a grace As lang’s my arm” (Burns). And one of the Scottish guests recited the Selkirk Grace: “Some have meat and cannot eat, Some cannot eat that want it; But we have meat, and we can eat, Sae let the Lord be thankit.”
The other guests were from a variety of countries and it was so enjoyable to see everyone’s reaction to learning about a Scottish tradition. It’s safe to say the scotch whiskey was probably a favorite part of the tradition amongst the men. Kilts were optional and there were a few men sporting them.