We had the opportunity to go to a Robert Burns Night Dinner on Saturday. As you might or might not know, Robert Burns is a very famous Scotch poet. He coined the poem, "My love is like a red, red, rose" and wrote the song "Auld Lang Syne" and so many other famous writings. Evidently, to commemorate Robbie, each year on or near the anniversary of his birth, people all over the world hold "Burns Nights". It just so happens that we have some friends who decided to get married at one of these events held here in Moscow. Which is how Jeff and I were invited to attend this years festivities.
They do a Grand Processional complete with Marching bagpipes and everything to bring in the Haggis.
...and yes, I did try the Haggis!
We always make sure that the kids take three bites of new foods that we serve them. One to try it. Two to double check. and three just to make sure. So...I took three bites of the Haggis. One to try it. Two to double check my gag reflex. And three to make sure that I really could make it on Fear Factor.
The rest of the dinner was pretty good although I did have a little issue with the "potatos." Now I happen to love potatos and so as I passed through the line I gave myself a nice-sized portion of them. I was actually excited to taste them. A little further down the line I came upon some more "potatos"--this time with the skin on. (I thought to myself, OK, we are talking about Scotland/Ireland--home of the potato. So I guess they can have as many potato dishes as they want.) These also looked delicious. So I helped myself with just a few of these--after all, I didn't want to be a pig. Much to my surprise, when I got back to my seat and started to dig in, I found that the first dish of "potatos" was none other than cooked turnips! Not exactly what I had been expecting. The second dish really was potatoes but I was so sad because I had piled on the turnips and only gotten a few of the real potatos.
This little guy was a member of the pipe band, "The Border Highlanders". He was SO darn cute. I got a bit of a kick out of him though--I mean really, how many Asian guys do you expect to find playing the bagpipes at a Scottish event?
I LOVE bagpipes! I have always loved them. When played well, they are just so inspiring. Here is a little sampling of the initial procession to start the evening off.
Sam gave the "Toast to the Lassies" and Marsha gave the "Reply Toast to the Laddies" They are the ones who were getting married. Most of the guests had no idea that a real wedding was going to be performed there. It was a surprise. After the toasts and the proposal, the pastor came up and they were escorted down the isle by the pipers. They recited their vows and were pronounced husband and wife. They were dressed in full Scottish costumes--Kilt and all. It was very fun and easy. This was a second marriage for both. They had known each other way back in first grade. Just goes to show--you never know who you might marry and fall in love with. It could be the one pulling your pigtails.
After the wedding, there was dancing and some songs performed by the Lewiston Firefighter Pipe Band. They have only been doing it for about a year but they still sounded pretty good. They taught everyone a Scottish country dance and everyone had fun with that.
All in all, it was a really fun night. I love having opportunities to do interesting things like this every once in a while. I even got to wear one of my Tartan skirts that my Scotch/Irish grandmother left me.