We, at the Stirling School of English, held our Burns Night ceilidh on the evening of 24th January 2019 at Stirling’s Albert Halls to celebrate the birthday, life and achievements of Robert Burns, who is widely considered to be Scotland’s national poet.
To start our celebration, the haggis for our dinner was ceremonially piped into the hall, with Hugh reciting the poem “To a Haggis” as he cut it up. Our meal consisted of a cock-a-leekie soup, haggis, neeps (which are a kind of turnip) and mashed tatties (potatoes), followed by a chocolate-and-cream topped fruit trifle, which is a sweet and traditional dessert. We all had great conversations around the tables and made some international friends.
Margaret then delivered the ‘Immortal Memory’, a speech talking about the life and achievements of Burns, about his birth into a farming family and his rise to his status as Scotland’s national bard, with word of his poems spreading and putting his work in high demand. Catherine Burns recited his famous poem ‘To a Mouse’ and we were also told how he, of course, very much liked the ladies and would write love poems and record traditional songs across Scotland.
After this, our band for the evening played us some songs by Burns and fully engaged the assembled crowd, also adding the Proclaimers’ “500 Miles” to the list of songs, as this is a firm favourite.
This was followed by ceilidh dancing, expertly taught to us by Duncan and Margaret. It was a very successful evening and had a great attendance of people from around the world to celebrate this occasion.