Robbie Burns dinner showcases Scottish Culture
Thursday, Feb 09, 2017 10:28 am
An evening of Scottish culture goes on display at the third annual Robbie Burns Valentine’s Dinner hosted by the Airdrie Gaelic Society (AGS) at the Overtime Lounge Feb. 11.
Robbie Burns is the national poet of Scotland, and his (1759-1796) birth and death are celebrated with feasts hosted by Burns Societies across the world, according to AGS treasurer and pipe major in the Airdrie Scots Pipes and Drums band Kevin Fraser.
“It’s one of the bigger cultural events for the Scottish,” he said.
The dinner was created to fundraise for the band in a way that tied Scottish culture to the event, Fraser said.
Anyone who knows Scottish culture, he said, would have a sense of what’s to come at a Robbie Burns dinner.
“There’s a little bit of draw there,” Fraser said.
The evening opens with five performances from Airdrie’s own McRae Highland Dance Studio, he said, followed by a 30-minute set from the six-member Airdrie Scots Pipes and Drums band.
After that, Fraser said a piper would pipe in the haggis, a traditional Scottish meal of minced meats with oatmeal and spices cooked in a sheep’s stomach.
Finally, a piper would perform Burns’ poem Address to a Haggis, which Fraser said is written in a Scottish-English dialect.
“It’s not truly Gaelic, but it’s a lot of Scottish-based type of words,” he said.
With a little bit of arm waving throughout the address, Fraser said there are a couple places where the haggis is ceremoniously cut.
Haggis tastes similar to spicy hamburger, he said, and though it is not the main course of the evening, it is worth a couple spoonfuls on the plate if one hasn’t tried it.
“There’s some people that hate it and there are others that just love it,” Fraser said.
Though ticket sales for the event have closed for this year, he said it is an annual fundraiser that continues to promote what the AGS and Airdrie Scots Pipes and Drums band does in the community.
The band, which Fraser said is made up of four pipers and two drummers, is available to perform in parades and other live events.
“We’re open to anyone that wants to come and play,” he said.
To learn more about the AGS or the Airdrie Scots Pipes and Drums band, visit airdriescots.ca.