Haggis and ceilidh

In Scotland, Burns Night is a special occasion when the work and life of poet Robert Burns is celebrated with a nice supper that takes place close to the poet’s birthday, January 25th. At least that’s what it is supposed to be. For most of the students at least (especially foreign ones) this is the perfect occasion to dip into the Scottish culture with haggis and try some ceilidh dancing. For those still not very familiar with the Scottish ways, I will not go into much detail on the description of the delicacy that is Haggis. I will only say that the taste is very pleasant and, putting aside the ingredient list, it is something that is definitely worth a try… at least I liked it. And for the vegetarian ones, do not worry… veggie options are usually available.

Learning to Ceilidh Dance
Learning to Ceilidh Dance by Marco Moras

Moving on to the next topic, a Ceilidh is a traditional Gaelic social gathering that involves folk music and lots of dancing. This kind of dancing requires a certain amount of coordination with the rest of the people, the ability to jump and turn continuously, and at least some awareness of how much space you need to move.

Regardless of how much you lack of the items in the previous list, venturing on to the dance floor is something you have to do. Having next to you someone who knows what he/she is doing will definitely help. If not, instructions are usually given by the band for those of use whose dance moves are more of the club variety. Eventually you’ll understand enough to be able to follow the more noticeable movements and bump less frequently into the rest of the people. I promise you will have a good time.

Gordon Tartan
Gordon Tartan modelled by Mr. Eadie

The whole experience is really enjoyable, with people laughing at how complicated the dance looks and how fun it is to do. I must say it is quite tiring and drinking lots of liquids is probably a good idea. But in general do give yourself the chance to experience some true Scottish culture and dance the stress off… and maybe wear a kilt.

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