01 February 2012

Robbie Burns is my boyfriend.

January is Burns Season.

If you're not familiar with the Scottish diaspora you probably don't know much about Robert Burns and that Scottish groups around the world celebrate his birthday every January at what we typically call Burns Nights (or Burns Dinner or Burns Supper or Burns Celebration). Burns wrote in the Scots language, which means you as an English speaker can generally get the gist of what he's saying, and wrote about things like haggis, a mouse's nest being destroyed, a louse in a wig. He wrote some pretty cheesy love poems, which get way more attention than (I think) they should. He also wrote Auld Lang Syne. Yeah, THAT Auld Lang Syne.

I like him because he was a working class guy. Not like Shakespeare who was born into a rich family, or any of his contemporaries who all were college educated pretty boys. He was out working in the fields (this is where To A Mouse came from) and this is probably what led to his premature death at age 37.

Burns's birthday is January 25th and Burns Dinners start in early January and some are even held in mid-February. I have danced in three this January. This is totally typical. Every obscure Scottish-related group has one and some are better than others. Every time, you sit through a history of Burns's life and a reading of some of his poems. There is a reading of his Address To A Haggis and typically a whiskey toast. Then there is often singing or dancing or other various Scottish-things, Burns-related or not. These all very greatly, depending on who is presenting them and the talent involved. Some are better than others, let's leave it at that.

This is what inspired me to make this:

It's for sale in my etsy shop, but of course I made one for myself to keep. And one for my sister. Who wouldn't want that face on their lapel? He's the people's poet (in a non-Rik way!) and generally a pretty cool guy for being dead for 216 years. 

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