Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Administrative Assistant

£60 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Administrative Assitant Hertford...

Web Application Support Manager

£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...

** Secondary History Teacher Required In Liverpool **

£120 - £165 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

** Secondary Geography Teacher Required In Liverpool **

£120 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

Page 3 Profile: Robert Burns, Scottish Poet

Ah, Scotland’s favourite son.

Yes. A pioneer of Romanticism, Robert Burns has been a cultural icon for Scotland for more than two centuries. Born in 1759, he died in 1796 aged just 37, but his legend lives on. In 2009 he was voted the greatest Scot of all time, and today marks what would have been his 255th birthday.

Did he write anything I might have come across?

Maybe you’ve heard of a little poem called ”Auld Lang Syne”? Despite not actually knowing exactly who or what they are singing about, millions of people around the world launch into this hymn to friendship and good cheer the second the clock strikes midnight every new year. The poem encourages us to put the previous year behind us and look forward to the new one ahead.

What else did he pen?

“O my Luve’s like a red, red rose/That’s newly sprung in June…”

Stop it, you’re making me blush!

He’s also famous for his “Address to a Haggis”, an ode to Scotland’s signature dish. Containing minced sheep’s pluck (heart, liver and lungs) mixed with onion, oatmeal and suet, and encased in the animal’s stomach, this savoury pudding is traditionally enjoyed at Burns Night suppers.

Mmm, sheep’s lungs. Tell me more about these Burns Night suppers…

Burns Night is effectively a second national day and is actually more widely observed in Scotland than St Andrews Day. The supper usually begins with a general welcome and then the Selkirk Grace is said. The haggis is presented and Burns’ “Address…” is read.  It opens: “Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face/Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!” (Fair and full is your honest, jolly face/Great chieftain of the sausage race!”)

Sausage race? I say! Can we eat yet?

Yes. After the “Address” the pudding is cut open and served with neeps and tatties (that’s turnips and potatoes, don’t you know).  At the end of the meal a toast to the immortal memory of Burns is given, during which a speaker gives an overview of his life and work, and then “Auld Lang Syne” is sung.

I’ll raise a wee dram to that.

Well, you’ll need something to wash that sheep’s pluck down.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments