Traditions are there to be shared.
Before joining the Copeland Family back in February 2018 our Marketing Guru, Zoe, lived in Edinburgh for four years completing her Masters Degree and enjoying all things Bonnie. We took some time out recently to learn more about Zoe’s time spent in the land of the Scots and discovered that she has a serious love for haggis and the traditional celebration of Burns Night.
She told us a little bit more about what exactly the celebration involves and why she continues to celebrate the Scottish tradition, even now being back home in Northern Ireland.
So what is Burns Night exactly?
An excuse for a party!!
Nah I’m just kidding. Burns night does actually have a historical background and cause for celebration. There's a great story behind every tale.
The night is all about celebrating the life of Robert Burns, a Scottish Poet who knew how to throw a good party whilst also being very talented at writing beautiful crafted poetry about life, friends, tragedy, loss, love… you name it. Auld Lang Syne is probably his most well known lyric.
Sadly he was only 37 when he passed. However, he left behind a poignant legacy amongst his friends and family, who later decided to celebrate his life every year on the anniversary of his birth in true 'Rabbie Burns' style. That meant spending the evening indulging in all things Scottish, including haggis, potatoes and lots of whisky. As his poetry started to be spread far and wide, so did the celebration of his life.
Burns Night is now celebrated every year on the 25th January - so put it in your diaries.
What’s your opinion of Haggis?
I love it! I know some are grossed out by it and I guess I can understand when you look at it in its uncooked form, but I got hooked on the stuff when living in Edinburgh. I wouldn’t eat it every week by choice, but for Burns night it is a must! It can be a little tricky finding good haggis in Belfast, but I have come across it in Asda, Tesco and some local Butchers. But if you're feeling like a true Scotsman, I recommend ordering it from Macsween's in Edinburgh! Asda currently stock Stock it! I've checked for you!
Are you a Dram kinda Girl?
Gin will always come first for me! (I promise I wasn't paid to say that.) But I do love a good whisky! I think living in Edinburgh definitely encouraged me to try more whiskies and I adopted a real passion for it. However, now being with Copeland I think there's opportunity to introduce our own gins into the celebrations. We recently made an old fashioned using our Rhuberry Gin, which was outstanding and over Christmas I was known to have the odd Copeland Hot Gin Toddy! Personally I think the Spiced Apple & Blackcurrant is the most fitting for a Burns Night Supper, given the spices in the haggis and the Wintery time of the year.
Why do you continue to celebrate Burns Night back here in Northern Ireland?
I can’t deny that I love all things Scottish - and the Copeland Team will know that from my array of tartan clothing I wear daily into the office. But the main reason I continue to celebrate Burns Night is because of the values behind it, those core values being; celebrating local culture and friendship! And it’s because of those values I think more people should celebrate it, including the Copeland Family. I think it’s extremely important for us as a local company to celebrate the traditions of neighbouring cultures and experience new things. I mean everyone celebrates St Paddy's Day so what's the harm celebrating Burns Night!
Alright, I think you’ve convinced us to get onboard with the Burns celebrations - beverages, cuisine and getting the Copeland Boys up for a dance - we’re definitely leaving the cooking to you though. So what is your guide to a Copeland Burns Night?
So what's fun about Burns night is we have the opportunity to put our own twist on it. SO, our Copeland themed Burns night will of course involve plenty of GIN as well as the traditional whisky. There’s no reason we can’t combine a little Irish & Scottish together. We're a lot more similar than you'd think. So here's my simple Go To Burns Night Supper menu that you could easily whip together for tonight's celebrations!
An important thing to remember when celebrating Burns Night is that you, and all of your guests, MUST wear tartan! Rabbie would be shocked to have anyone celebrate his night and not honour the true Scottish attire. Don't worry if you haven't go a full suit or a sporran. Just a touch of tartan will do you well.
Be it a full blown kilt, a tartan scarf, or like our darling little Elvis below - a tartan bow tie.
Well now you're fully equipped for the night ahead with your knowledge of Burns Night and a menu to impress your guests, all that's left to do is learn the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne. So here's a link to get you practising - AULD LANG SYNE.
“There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.” And tonight is sure to be a lot of fun.