Thursday, January 25, 2007
Contented wi' Little and Cantie wi' Mair
If you were in Scotland today, you would probably be going to a Burn's Supper tonight. We celebrate the birth of Robert Burns, our national bard, every year on the 25th of January with a big party with good food, speeches, singing and dancing.

You will know many of his poems, even if you don't realise it. You'll have sung one (Auld Lang Syne) just a few weeks ago as you greeted the New Year. Other familiar poems and songs might include To a Mouse from which Of Mice and Men takes its title, My Love is like a Red, Red Rose, and Ae Fond Kiss.

The meal starts with the Selkirk Grace:
Some have meat and cannot eat,
Some can eat that want it:
But we have meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.
The menu will include typically Scottish food, probably starting with some cock-a-leekie soup or Scotch broth. The highlight of the evening though is the haggis as it is marched in by the chef led by a bagpiper. The host for the evening will then give the Address to a Haggis, hopefully adding to the ceremony of the occasion by plunging a small knife or sgian dubh into it as he says:
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like ony ditch;
I'll let you investigate for yourself what haggis is made from, but, be assured, (and this is coming from someone who was vegetarian for 10 years of her life) that haggis is delicious! It is served with neeps (mashed swedes or turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes). For dessert, cranachan, clootie dumpling or oatcakes and cheese might be served, followed by the national drink, whisky.

The evening continues with speeches - The Immortal Memory remembering Burns' life or work and the Toast to the Lassies and their Reply which are amusing gently poking fun at the other gender. There will be singing of his songs and recitations of his poetry and perhaps some ceilidh dancing, before a final rendition of Auld Lyne Syne. It's a great evening, so if you are ever over here at this time of year, do let me know and I'll make sure that you get to one!

(I also realised while typing this that it is exactly 15 years since our house burnt down - I remember being a little amused that this had happened on Burns' Night! Maybe that is a story for another day!)

Contented wi' little and cantie wi' mair,
Whene'er I forgather wi' Sorrow and Care,
I gie them a skelp, as they're creepin alang,
Wi' a cog o' guid swats and an auld Scottish sang.

Contented wi' Little
Robert Burns, the Bard (January 25, 1759 – July 21, 1796

Labels: ,

  posted at 06:12  

At 25 January, 2007 06:56, Blogger thekingpin68 said...

Hi Keziah,

I have tried Haggis. It was good, but the cook told me it was a modified dish, so whatever that meant. My Dad is in the Masonic Lodge and used to celebrate Robert Burns day.

Here is a link and comment on Haggis:


At 25 January, 2007 08:47, Blogger MiPa said...

I'll delurk and wish you a wonderful Burn's Night. I'd love to be traveling North for haggis tonight, but I'm not. I'll have to settle for the ceidhl at church on Saturday (to honor our new youth pastor from Dunoon).

At 25 January, 2007 16:51, Blogger Duchess of Fife said...

Happy Robbie Burns Day!

At 26 January, 2007 01:16, Blogger Linda said...

This was such a fun post Keziah. I love learning about your country and your traditions. Ever since I discovered Rosamunde Pilcher, I have had a yearning to see Scotland. Don't know if I ever will, but it fun seeing a bit of it through your eyes and "pen".
Have a glorious time!!

At 26 January, 2007 01:31, Blogger Kathy said...

Thanks, Keziah, for a wonderful description of a Burns Night celebration. I have never attended one but am familiar with elements of it. Sounds great!

At 26 January, 2007 03:45, Anonymous susan said...

What a cool celebration and thanks for sharing it with us, Keziah.

Coincidentally I recieved a "Scottish" book in the mail today: 44 Scotland Street. I read the online version of The Scotsman newspaper most days so I am intrigued to read this book.

At 26 January, 2007 04:46, Anonymous Kim @ Reformed Grits said...

This is something I didn't know about! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful tradition with us!

At 26 January, 2007 14:41, Blogger Ashley said...

Thanks so much for sharing a bit of your culture with us! I found it very interesting. I think I have a bit of Scottish heritage in me, although I've never actually traced my genealogy.

At 26 January, 2007 22:29, Blogger Keziah said...

Russ - I'm not sure if your chef meant that the haggis wasn't how it would be made traditionally with all the entrails of the sheep baked in its own stomach? (I write that and yet think to myself, "Hey, I haven't had haggis for SO long. I'd better have some soon!")

MiPa - thanks for not being a Lurk-Ness monster! Ceilidh sounds good. Remember, it's not been a good ceilidh unless you have bruises the next day from all the burling!

Duchess of Fife - hope you and husband had a Burns Supper of your very own over there? Can you even buy haggis in the States?

Linda - you are welcome over here anytime! I'd be delighted to show any of you around my beautiful country.

Kathy - I suppose you have so many transplanted Scots over there that there will have been a good number of Burns Suppers near you. If I don't get a job over here, I'm thinking of maybe applying to work in Australia for a year as many of my friends have done. If I do, I'll make sure to invite you to a Burns Supper!

Susan - how have you ended up being a reader of The Scotsman? I'm afraid I didn't really like "44 Scotland Street" in the few extracts I've read, but that maybe comes from not having read it from the start. Let me know if you have any Scottish or Edinburgh questions I can answer for you.

Kim - it's fun to share some of my country with others. I'm glad you enjoy it too!

Ashley - if you find out where your heritage comes from, let me know. Scots have been emigrated to the States since at least 1650, so they must have a lot of descendants now.


Post a Comment

<< Home

About Me


Scotland, United Kingdom

My Complete Profile

Favourite Websites
  • BBC Online
  • Boundless Webzine
  • Christian Medical Fellowship
  • Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
  • Desiring God (John Piper)
  • Elisabeth Elliot
  • Flylady
  • Good Book Company
  • Ligonier Ministries (R C Sproul)
  • London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

  • Archives
    July 2006
    August 2006
    September 2006
    October 2006
    November 2006
    December 2006
    January 2007
    February 2007
    March 2007
    April 2007
    December 2007

  • 101 things in 1001 days
  • accountability
  • bible study
  • biblical manhood
  • biblical womanhood
  • carnival of beauty
  • catechism
  • Christmas
  • consider your ways
  • faith
  • family
  • history
  • homemaking
  • marriage
  • miscellaneous
  • mission
  • news
  • photos
  • prayer
  • quotations
  • reading
  • Scotland
  • scripture memory
  • singleness
  • spiritual disciplines
  • time/money management
  • work
  • year of abundance

  • Previous Posts
    The LORD is Good!
    Beauty of Mary and Martha: The Good Portion
    Keep your Soul Diligently
    3. What do the Scriptures principally teach?
    The Basic Principles of the Oracles of God
    Let your Heart take Courage
    In All your Ways Acknowledge Him
    The Day the Lord has Made
    You are Not of the World
    2. What rule has God given to direct us how to glo...

    Blog Design by:

    Powered by:

    Meter by:

    Verse of the Day

  • A Deeper Love
  • A Gracious Home
  • Biblical Womanhood
  • Butterflies in the Sky
  • Following an Unknown Path
  • In All Things
  • John Dekker's Journal
  • Just Enjoy the Journey
  • Just My Journal
  • Life in Return
  • Little People
  • New Day
  • Onward and Upward
  • Rocks in my Dryer
  • Satire and Theology
  • Solo Femininity
  • Titus2Talk
  • Twenty Six Cats
  • Une Fille d'Eve

  • I am reading...
  • Biblical Womanhood in the Home
  • ESV Reformation Study Bible
  • Practical Prayer
  • Spiritual Disciplines Handbook
  • Winter Stories (Tove Jansson)

  • I am listening to...
  • Classic FM at the Movies
  • Eyes Open (Snow Patrol)
  • Favourite Things (Connie Fisher)
  • The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid (Bill Bryson)
  • Messiah (Handel)

  • Buttons

    Christian Women Online
    Blog Ring
    Join List Random