Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Letter: Voice of the North - Celebrate a Great Man's Birthday

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Letter: Voice of the North - Celebrate a Great Man's Birthday

Article excerpt

Byline: GEORGE MCCABE

HARDLY has the last bubble gone from the glass of champagne and the last dram of whisky been enjoyed at Hogmanay, when it is time for the first food and drink celebration of the New Year.

January 25 is the birthday of Robert Burns or as he liked to be known, Rabbie Burns, Scotland's greatest dialect poet.

On this night is held a supper, when a suitable person will chair the evening, recite the Address to the Haggis after it has been piped round the room held aloft on a silver salver as the audience claps. A dirk is then unsheathed and the reciter stabs the haggis, after which it is toasted with a dram of whisky.

So what's this evening of Scottish merriment all about? Well Burns himself liked humour (as a tax collector he needed it), a gargle or two of ale and a snifter of whisky, for medical reasons.

Of course, you have to have a sense of humour when you start to talk to an oddment of animal parts wrapped and cooked in a skin. …

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