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Virtual Robert Burns Night?

With Old Man COVID still stalking the land, I was wondering if anyone is doing a virtual Robbie Burns night? I don't know much about Robert Burns and less about the traditional Robbie Burns night but I'm keen to learn. I've never even tasted Scottish whisky!

Posted by
3789 posts

I have an annual reminder on my work calendar to read a Burns poem every Jan 25th. If you haven't read Ode to a Haggis, you should.
My limited experience with Burns night was when I was Scottish Country Dancing. It was great fun, but as dancing and whisky doesn't mix well it was more about reals and less about toasts...though haggis was on the menu as were poems during dinner.
A google search shows the Ottawa Scottish Society has moved to virtual as we are in our 2nd state of emergency at present. You may have to join the society to get the link, but here is where you can learn about it https://ottscot.ca/burns-supper-ottawa
It will give you an idea of how to expand your searches.

Posted by
1139 posts

I attended a Burns Night many years ago, in Toronto, arranged by a group of amateur soccer players. It was an all male event (I don't know if that's the tradition), plenty of speeches, bad jokes, food and drinking. The Scots were all wearing kilts. An expensive event, due to the range of single malts provided. As a rule, I'm not a big drinker of the hard stuff, and by taste I wouldn't know which of the whiskies were aged longer, or which were more expensive. In general, though, I do prefer singe malts to blended Scotch.

I don't see a virtual Burns Night as being much fun.

Posted by
12205 posts

Virtual haggis would be a definite improvement over the real thing.

Posted by
908 posts

I wrote a paper on Robert Burns for a high school Lit class. This was back in the mid ‘80s. I can still rattle off the first few lines of “To A Mouse” in a very poor Scottish accent! I like the idea of reading one of his poems on the day. Neat way to toast the event!

Posted by
1402 posts

Virtual haggis would be a definite improvement over the real thing.

Ha Ha!

Actually, if you've ever had one from a traditional Scots butcher, you might like it!
I think they are delicious myself.

Posted by
511 posts

My family is holding a Burns Supper family Zoom. People are setting their own menus, but I've ordered canned haggis, instant cock-a-leekie soup and fudge and shortbread for dessert, and will supplement with chicken pot pie since I don't know if I'm going to like canned haggis.

We're all going to wear our Buchanan tartans. My sister is looking for Scottish trivia questions and I'm putting together a playlist of appropriate music. We've been looking at the Alexandria Burns Club Annual Supper website for ideas: http://www.robertburns.org.uk/burns_supper.htm

An alternative to family might be to build your own Zoom dinner party, inviting friends who might want to read poetry in cheesy Scottish accents.

Good luck, have fun!
Marty

Posted by
1069 posts

While it’s not on the actual Robbie Burns night, Elsa McTaggart will be doing a Rabbie Burns concert on Jan. 30 from where she lives on the Isle of Lewis. Tickets are usually £5 for about an hour and a half concert and she streams to a Facebook group. You can find a link to buy on her Facebook page. She is very entertaining!

Posted by
95 posts

Thank you all for the comments and especially for the links and tip about Elsa McTaggart. A virtual party will have its limitations for sure. I think I can organize something scaled down to just a little music, a few poetry verses, some sharing of culinary adventures, and a toast or three. I may even be willing to humiliate myself and inflict my attempt at a Scottish brogue. I found an Americanized recipe for haggis and cock-a-leakie soup I think I can handle too. I hope to visit Scotland in 2022 and try the real thing there.

Posted by
16056 posts

I'm partial to "To a Louse (On Seeing One on a Lady's Bonnet at Church)".
Can you get haggis at Kwik Trip?

Posted by
95 posts

I don't know if there any Kwik Trips near me. I did learn that there is such a thing as canned haggis though. I would definitely try it in Scotland even though I didn't much care for steak and kidney pie in England. I'll look up that louse poem for sure!

Posted by
1290 posts

I had Haggis in Aberdeen. Didn’t think I’d like it but I did.

Posted by
2880 posts

For you Northern and Southern California Scottish fans I’d like to recommend this organization. Covid has caused a big pause in their events calendar but during a normal year this is a very talented and active group.

http://www.scottishfiddlersofcalifornia.org/

Our son’s family has participated in camps, performances and the annual (alas, not this year) Robert Burns Night in the Northern California section. We’ve been to some great spring performances over the years too.

Posted by
1291 posts

I'll be having a traditional Burn's Night tonight.

A take away curry.

Posted by
5666 posts

At the end of tonight's Monday Night Travel (first taping 6 pm PST) Rick saluted Robert Burns with a glass of Scotch whiskey -- no idea what happened on the 7:30 second session.

Posted by
2880 posts

We watched the 7:30 program and after sipping limoncello for the first half, he switched to sipping whiskey for the last section. Dave poured himself a wee dram and joined in 😀

Posted by
25744 posts

limoncello for Burns Night.... different

Posted by
1291 posts

Ha ha! Love it.
Will you be following that up with a deep-fried Mars bar?

In the end I had a American diner burger and Oreo ice cream.

Posted by
940 posts

"We cam' tae Ayr tae see your hoose
An' pay oor due respects
The rain was runnin' like a sluice
An' drippin doon oor necks

We saw nae man like you, Rab
Nae lassie like Jean Armour
I don't know where you are the noo
But you're better off, and warmer"

Gerald Strain

It's a wee bit late, but hope you enjoy.

Mike (Auchterless)

p.s.: Haggis is good with a wee bit of HP sauce (not the fruity kind!).