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Burns supper

May Selby
Aspen, CO Colorado
Tom Speirs and daughter Mechelle get the dancing going. (Courtesy Neil Hillier)
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Robert Burns, the 18th-century writer, is recognized as Scotland’s national poet. Each year on his birthday, Jan. 25, Burns suppers take place in Scotland and elsewhere. Burns suppers are most common in Scotland, but they also occur wher­ever there are Burns clubs, Scottish Societies, expatriate Scots, or admir­ers of his poetry.

Adrian and Heike Burns (no rela­tion to the celebrated poet) host a Burns supper each year at their Brush Creek residence, sending a clever invitation to friends and opening their home for a fes­tive evening of song, dance, music and poetry. (Drinking and dining also are equally important aspects of the gathering.) Traditional rituals at Burns suppers include poetry read­ings, bagpiping, and the blessing of the Haggis, the Scottish dish served for dinner. The song sung on New Year’s Eve the world over, “Auld Lang Syne,” is among Burns’ best known works and often closes out the evening during Burns suppers.