Each January 25th, all over the world, the Scottish and other haggis lovers celebrate the birthday of Robbie Burns, Scotland’s national poet, with the traditional feast of haggis, tatties and neeps (mashed potato and turnip)
Ye Olde Squire of Aldershot held their Burns’ celebration on Jan 25th, with a bagpiper leading the procession, followed by a gentleman bearing the haggis on a silver platter and two tartan-clad ladies who took turns addressing the haggis when it arrived at the bar.
A close translation for the final verse:
”Old Scotland wants no watery stuff,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer,
Give her [Scotland] a Haggis! ”
– Robert Burns, 1786 –
As the story goes, the brilliant Burns made up the ’Address to a Haggis’ right on the spot shortly after his arrival in Edinburgh.
Diners’ at Ye Olde Squire had options of: a haggis dinner, steak with a slice of haggis, or black pudding dinner, all served with neeps and tatties.
Crowds gathered early at the Black Swan for similar fare after the piping in and addressing of the haggis. Patrons enjoyed Burlington’s favourite Celtic band, the Colonial Boys; Chuck, Bruce and Pavel. Many other Burlington establishments celebrated Burns, including The Black Bull Tavern and West Plains United Church.
Burns is known for his love poems and was the first to record lyrics to ‘Auld Lang Syne’, the familiar New Year’s tune which encourages reviewing the past year ’for old times sake’ and preserving old friendships.
Written by: Leslie Styles