Like many people around the world, I celebrated the birthday of Scotland's favorite poet, Robert Burns. From what I understand the celebration may be somewhat different in each location, but several parts remain the same. I'm happy to share a bit of my experience with you.
I'd been to a few Burns' Suppers over the years, but this year's was by far the best. With pomp and circumstance, we drank whisky, listened to Burns' poetry, and ate haggis. Yep, you read that right. I ate haggis (and I love it!).
The evening began with a bagpiper playing and wandering through the hall. A gentleman carried a silver tray with the haggis above his head. (Haggis is defined as a traditional pudding made of the heart, liver, etc., of a sheep or calf, minced with suet and oatmeal, seasoned, and boiled in the stomach of the animal.) He set the tray on a table. Two women toasted to the haggis and we all joined in.
After that, we had a wonderful dinner of cock-a-leekie soup, steak & kidney pie, haggis, neeps and tatties, and Scotch trifle for dessert. During dinner we had snippets of TV shows that included Scotsmen or people talking about Scotsmen. The accents, of course, raised the goosebumps on my arms. (I'm a sucker for any British accent!) Once the meal was finished, we had a guest speaker who talked about his connection to Burns' poetry, the toast to the lassies, and musicians who played traditional Scottish music. Instructors from a local Scottish Country Dance school tried to maneuver part of the crowd in some dances. I sat out and watched others, but it did get me to thinking about possibly looking into dance lessons for myself!
At the end of the night, all the people who had remained got into a huge circle around the room. We joined hands and sang Auld Lang Syne. I admit I teared up, as I often do, because my heart misses Scotland. But I'll take Austin's Burns' Supper anytime.