January 25 – Time for Haggis!

January 25, 1759 is the birthdate of the national poet of Scotland, Robert Burns (perhaps best known in the U.S. for his poem and song “Auld Lang Syne”).

Robert Burns

Robert Burns

His birthday is widely celebrated, both in Scotland and around the world, with “Burns Suppers”.

The main dish at a Burns Supper is haggis, a traditional Scottish dish. Burns’s famous poem “Address to a Haggis” is read when the haggis is cut open. Haggis is usually described as a “savory pudding” which contains sheep’s guts (heart, liver and lungs) minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, stock, and then encased in the animal’s stomach and simmered for approximately three hours. Haggis is often served with “neeps and tatties” (Scots: turnip and potato), boiled and mashed separately, with a glass of Scotch whisky to wash it down.


Personally, I wouldn’t dream of interacting with Haggis except perhaps in the sport called Haggis Hurling, which involves throwing a haggis as far as possible. The world record for haggis hurling was achieved by Lorne Coltart on 11 June 2011, who hurled his haggis 217 feet.

A Haggis Hurler

A Haggis Hurler

You can learn more about Robert Burns in this short, entertaining video accessible here.

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8 Responses to January 25 – Time for Haggis!

  1. Cipriano says:

    You make me recall one of my favorite movies, “So I Married An Axe-Murderer” starring Mike Myers. Have you seen that one?
    It’s LOADED with haggis-lore!

  2. Beth F says:

    I’m pretty sure I haven’t ever eaten haggis … I’ve never even thrown it. LOL.

  3. BermudaOnion says:

    I’m with you on the haggis. I can’t imagine ever eating it willingly.

  4. jama says:

    Oh my, haggis is frightening. No wonder some like to throw it! 😀 I’ll pass.

  5. I agree, I would rather throw haggis than eat it.

  6. lisa says:

    When my parents were in Scotland many years ago, my dad, who is of Scottish descent, felt that it was his duty to try haggis. He had one bite and was done. My mom, who is not Scottish, felt no such compunction! Such an ugly food.

  7. Trish says:

    I should tweet you a picture of the look on my face right now. Though without looking in the mirror I’m not sure if it’s disgust, horror, or sick curiosity. 😉 Blech!!!

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