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UK Edition: Burns Night Traditions With LifeCovers

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Sally Lucas, a.k.a. LifeCovers, works from her studio overlooking the Lammermuir Hills in Scotland. She produces bags and cushions using fabrics manufactured or designed in the UK, including the luxurious, hand-woven Scottish cloth, Harris Tweed. Today she shares some Scottish traditions which take place tonight, in honour of an internationally revered bard.

What is a Burn’s Supper? To answer this question you must first learn a little of the man who is known as Scotland’s National Poet. In 22 years of creative writing, Robert Burns (often referred to as Rabbie) composed hundreds of songs, poems and letters. He died aged only 37, and his funeral was attended by over 10,000 people.

His writings tell the stories of ordinary people and the way they lived their lives. Rabbie was, however, anything but ordinary. He had a wry sense of humour, an alleged thirst for drink, a deep nationalist pride in his beloved Scotland and an insatiable passion for women.

Photo by GrantR

A few years after his death in 1796, a group of his friends gathered for an evening of recitals and song as a tribute to his memory. Hence, Burns Night was born and has been celebrated for over 200 years throughout the world on January 25, the evening of the anniversary of his birth.

A Burns Supper commences with the Selkirk Grace:

Some hae meat and cannot eat.
Some cannot eat that want it:
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit.

Haggis is a central part of the meal. Here’s a recipe from days gone by — delicious!

“Take the liver, lungs and heart of a sheep and boil them. Mince the meats and mix with chopped onions, toasted oatmeal, salt, pepper, and spices. Take one properly cleaned sheep’s stomach. Stuff the cleaned stomach with the prepared contents. Sew up the stomach (leaving enough room for expansion to avoid a large messy explosion) and boil. Serve and eat.” – Via worldburnsclub.com

Photo by glynsatterleyprints

A piper makes his way into the dining room ahead of the chef who is carrying the haggis; the guests join in with a slow hand clap. The chairman then recites Burns’ famous poem “To a Haggis.” When he reaches the line, “an’ cut you up wi’ ready slight,” he cuts open the haggis with a sharp knife.It’s customary for the party to toast the haggis with a glass of whisky.

Cheers Rabbie!

Many thanks to Sally and a swig of whisky to dear Rabbie and our Scottish Etsians. Check out some of Sally’s fab work in the Sellers Items and see our Burns inspired picks in the Related Items below.

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