No sooner have the festivities passed do we prepare ourselves for the celebration of our National Bard – Robbie Burns, better known as Rabbie. Our fondness of our national poet is held all over the world, and he may have passed 220 years ago, but very much still lives on in the hearts of all us Scots.
January 25th marks the anniversary of oor Rabbie, and it is celebrated in a traditional fashion. It starts with the haggis being piped in and burns poem recited. If you haven’t tried haggis, you must! But, we don't recommend you google the ingredients prior to having a taste first!
Songs are sung, poems recited, and the evening is followed by a night of traditional Scottish dancing. Because who doesn't love to be flung around a dance floor to the beat of that sweet, sweet ceilidh band?!
Let us throw it back to September 1787, Robbie Burns arrived on the southern shores of Loch Ness at the Falls of Foyers. He was so taken with the beauty of our stunning Loch, he began to write;
“Among the heathy hills and ragged woods
The roaring Fyers pours his mossy floods
Till full he dashes on the the rocky mounds
Where thro'a shapeless breach his stream resounds”
Burns was sometimes decried because his critics said he could only write in the Scots language and not in English. To sort them out in his poem TamO' Shanter a classic about the misfortune that over drinking can get one into (we've all been there!) He inserted these poignant lines of English.
“But Pleasures are like poppies spread
You seize the flower the bloom is shed
Or like snowfalls in the river
A moment white then gone forever”
You too can celebrate Burns, purchase a haggis, some potatoes and a good swede turnip, a fine bottle of single malt, make a robust sherry trifle, print off some poems of Burns, invite some friends around, download the Burns songs of Eddi Reader and you can have your own Burns Supper. Easy! But if that does sound like a lot of effort, head out to a local restaurant for some Haggis Neeps and Tatties!
From all of us at Loch Ness by Jacobite, we leave you with a very fitting Burns song;
“Farewell to the highlands, farewell to the North,
The birth-place of Valour, the country of worth;
Wherever I wonder, wherever I rove
The hills of the Highlands forever I love.
My heart is in the Highlands, my heart is not here
My heart is in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer
Chasing the wild-deer, and following the roe
My heart is in the Highlands wherever I go.
Farewell to the mountains, high-cover’d with snow,
Farewell to the straths and green valley’s below,
Farewell to the forests and wild-hanging wood
Farewell to the torrents and loud-pouring floods
My heart is in the Highlands.”
We really do love the Highlands.