Date of Performance/Collection: April 22
Primary Language: English
This folklore is a holiday celebrated by the Scottish. It takes on January 25 and is used to celebrate the poet Robert Burns. Typically, families host a supper that begins with mingling. Poems by Robert Burns are recited. He is a very important figure in Scottish lore because many refer to him as a hero of Scotland, being their national poet. It is also referred to as Rabbie Burns Day. A traditional Scottish supper is then hosted, with a principle dish being Haggis. Haggis is the national food of Scotland and is meat mixed with oatmeal and seasoning that is then cooked in an animal’s stomach. There is a poem recited about Haggis because of how important it is to Scottish culture. Of course, whiskey is then drunk after this.
The informant spent four years living in Scotland when she was a young girl. She attended what would be the equivalent of an American middle school. She remembers this night well because it takes one day before her birthday. In addition, it represents a very Scottish dinner and was quite a culture shock coming from California. They learned it from their Scottish family friends who helped introduce them to Scottish culture. It is always a fun event that emphasizes heritage, pride in one’s country, as well as a close friends and family gathering.
I like the idea of celebrating culture as a national holiday. In America, there are few holidays that are geared towards the arts and Robert Burns Day helps young children stay connected to their traditional Scottish roots.