Wednesday, January 25, 2012

How a True Scot Celebrates Burns Night

My friend, Jim, from Twitter (@ChauvinOn) is a Scotsman currently living in Texas, but he still carries on the tradition of Burns Night with his lovely bride, Juliet.

As a special favor, he put together a lovely recap of what Burns Night looks like for him and his family. Enjoy!

Our Burns Night

A Burns supper is generally a fairly formal occasion in both dress and structure. 
Formal Scottish dress is normal for the gentlemen, for the ladies it is often an evening dress, although some will wear tartan skirts with a white blouse. With lots of formal structured, but often humorous speeches.
For us it is much less formal.
But the food is traditional and good: Scotch Broth to start, followed by Haggis, Neeps and Tatties, and of course a pudding – maybe Sticky- Toffee pudding. Since we don’t drink we have Scotland’s “other national drink” IRN BRU.

Piping in the haggis; is me with the iPod and speakers under my arm, playing “Scotland the Brave” or some other rousing tune. We never stick to the set speech format, but here are a few snippets.

I love “A Man’s a Man” because of its clear vision of a more just world.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

And of course I always recite, “My Love is Like a Red Red Rose”, for my Juliet.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Unfortunately Burns was after Aiden’s time or I am sure he would have sung it to Lindsey. (Cyndi's note: Awwwww! I love that!)

And what better way to end than with the following excerpt from “Tam o’ Shanter”.
But pleasures are like poppies spread, 
You seize the flow'r, its bloom is shed; 
Or like the snow falls in the river, 
A moment white-then melts for ever; 
Or like the Borealis race, 
That flit ere you can point their place; 
Or like the Rainbow's lovely form 
Evanishing amid the storm. - 
Nae man can tether Time nor Tide, 
The hour approaches Tam maun ride; 

Thank you so much, Jim, for sharing your traditions with us. What fun! And that love song... *swoon* No wonder all the ladies were in love with Rabbie! :)

Don't miss the "Ask a Real Scotsman" Q&A with Fraser McFarlane, hosted by The Mountains of Instead blog, starting at 1pm Pacific, 4pm Eastern!

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  1. Good post! It was a lot of fun to read it. I love learning about traditions people keep.

  2. I don't know anything about Scotland but I do love the kilts.

  3. That sounds like an awesome meal! I'm hungry now :)

  4. I love hearing about things that different cultures/countries celebrate!