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Robbie Burns Day: Haggis, anyone?

Celebrating all things Robbie Burns, and the many connections of Scots to Albertans.
haggis
Feel like haggis? If you've never tried it, today's the day. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

I don't know what the big deal about haggis is, that folk won't eat it. It's just a mix of oats, spices and sheep giblets stuffed into another sheep's stomach. It tastes fine. It's the national dish of Scotland, actually, and sure to be ceremoniously piped in for feasts around the world today. But I digress. Today, January 25 is Robert Burns Day, where those of Scottish heritage (and poetry lovers everywhere) raise a toast to the life and work of Robert Burns.

Alberta's Minister of Culture Ron Orr and Associate Minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism Muhammad Yaseen, in a joint statement, said Scotland's 'ploughman poet' was an author of great technique and prodigious intellect, who wowed the literary establishment and ordinary folk alike. He breathed new life into Scottish folk tradition, wrote stirring traditional ballads, romantic songs and pointed satires proclaiming his intolerance of injustice.

"From curling to bagpipes, the threads of Scottish culture are woven deeply into Alberta’s heritage. We owe a great deal of this province’s success to the people of Scottish heritage who have helped grow Alberta from the early days of its creation until now," read the statement.

 Did you know the first premier of Alberta, Alexander Rutherford, was the son of Scottish immigrants? He gave us the foundation for our government, school system and infrastructure. Airdrie, Banff and Calgary are named after places in Scotland that immigrants left behind to build a new life here. We even have a provincial tartan that reflects our shared heritage – the beauty of our green forests, golden wheat, blue skies and pink roses. Alberta's Scottish connections are many.

“On this Burns Night, we join Albertans in celebrating the legacy of this legendary poet and all the elements of Scottish culture that have enriched our province and the rest of the world.

“Despite his short life, Burns had a zest for living that endures in his timeless works. To all seeking the light of his literary spirit in a traditional Burns supper on this January evening, we wish you sláinte mhath!”