Saturday, 21 January 2017

Who Is Robert Burns And Why Does He Get His Own Special Day?

Yesterday in class, my friend Robbie said that his family will be making haggis on Wednesday as part of their annual Robert Burns celebration. First, I had to ask him what haggis was—turns out it’s a kind of pudding made with sheep’s heart (or liver or lungs), minced with herbs, spices and oatmeal. And then, I asked him who Robert Burns was, and why was he was so special that he got his own day dedicated to him. Spoiler alert: Robert Burns is Scottish and my friend was named after him!

According to Robbie, Burns was a famous poet in Scotland, and every year on his birth day, January 25, people gather to eat haggis and celebrate his works. Not just Scottish people either! Apparently, he was so well known that he is celebrated throughout the world—even in Alberta, there are events happening!

In class, we’re even reading some of his (a bit confusing) poetry. Thankfully, I don’t think anyone is bringing in haggis.

Talking to my friend Robbie about Robbie Burns Day got me thinking about why it’s such an important day for Scottish people, and I learned that the event is meant to celebrate Burns’ significant contribution to Scottish culture. Neat, right?

This year, during Canada’s 150th birthday celebration, there will be tons of events to help honour the people who have contributed to this country’s very diverse culture. Instead of haggis, there will be bison burgers, Evans’ cherries, and fries cooked in canola oil (a true Canadian food!), for example. I can’t wait.  

I’ve already learned so much about the traditions and cultures of other people who live in Canada—and it’s only January! I’m looking forward to a year of learning.

Have you ever tried haggis? And if you could celebrate ANY poet, who would it be, and what would you eat? I’d probably pick Robert Frost, and we’d eat snow cones. Get it? <grin>

Gotta Jet! Have a great weekend!

~ Chase Superman Duffy

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