A Toast to Robert Burns

657px-Robert_burns

It is poet Robert Burns’ 254 birthday today and what better way to celebrate than with a Burns SupperAccording to Huffington Post UK, the “tradition began in 1801, five years after the Scottish bard’s death when a group of his close friends decided to commemorate his memory by hosting a dinner.”

To get in the spirit, you can take a gander at The Scotsman’s list of Five Whiskies to Celebrate Burns Night With. Never one to shy away from a drink or two himself, Burns penned the poem, “Scotch Drink.”

Thou clears the head o’doited Lear;
Thou cheers ahe heart o’ drooping Care;
Thou strings the nerves o’ Labour sair,
At’s weary toil;
Though even brightens dark Despair
Wi’ gloomy smile.

There is much show for a Burns Supper: reading his poetry, piping, singing, toasting, and don’t forget, the Address to a Haggis. And for the more intense Burns aficionados, head over to Project Gutenberg to read George Combe’s Phrenological Development of Robert Burns From a Cast of His Skull Moulded at Dumfries, the 31st Day of March 1834 complete with illustrations! Apparently, “Burns’ skull was bigger than the average man’s. After he died and was buried in St. Michael’s Churchyard in Dumfries in 1796, Rabbie’s body was exhumed in 1815 to be placed in a new mausoleum in the town. While the body was above ground, a plaster cast was taken of his skull for study and measured.”

So, eat, drink and be merry!

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