Burns Night Ce;ebration - 25th January 2014

                 Death of a Haggis


DSC_0176.JPGOn January 25th, 2014, the 255th anniversary of Robbie Burns in Scotland, 116 people gathered at The Stables on the grounds of the Estoi Palace Pousada to take a cup of auld lang syne in honour of Scotland's national poet, and to do a little fundraising.

Organized by Scottish expat members of the Rotary Club Estoi Palace International thehaggis1.jpg evening followed traditional lines. First there was the ceremonial piping in of the haggis (see below for a description). Then a hush fell for the “Address to the Haggis”, a poem Burns penned in praise of the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race’ in 1786.  This was followed by the Selkirk Grace, a short grace attributed to Burns: “Some have meat and cannot eat, Some cannot eat that want it; But we have meat, and we can eat, Sae let the Lord be thankit.

After a main course of roast beef, and a lovely simple pudding we heard the Toast to the Lassies and the Reply to the Laddies. This was followed by some lively Scottish country dancing.

Burns didn’t live a long life; he died at the age of 37, leaving behind a wife, numerous distraught lovers and 12 children. His greatest legacy was his poetry which included hundreds of works in both English and Scots, which are still popular hundreds of years later.

The enjoyable evening raised over Euros 1,500 which RCEPI has earmarked to assist the Algarve Oncology Association.




The wild Haggis (plural: Haggi) lives in the highlands of Scotland. It is round, four-legged, fur-covered, andhaggis2.jpg usually less than a foot in length (comparable in size to a grouse). It is a shy creature, rarely seen, and for this reason there is great disagreement about its exact morphology and habits. For instance, many who claim to be Haggis experts say that the legs of the Haggis are longer on one side of its body than the other, in order to allow it to better stand on the steep slopes of the highlands. As a consequence, the haggis can only run around hills in one direction, and to catch one you simply run around the hill in the opposite direction. If true, this morphological feature would make the Haggis a cousin of the American Sidehill Gouger. However, other Haggis observers deny this to be true, insisting that all the legs of the Haggis are of equal length.

Some Haggis-ologists speculate that the Haggis is related to the Australian duck-billed platypus, being a descendant of migratory platypuses who found themselves trapped in Scotland during the last ice age and evolved to become highly adapted to its cold, damp weather.

To catch a Haggis it is advised to disguise your breath with liberal amounts of whisky, and then adopt a stumbling gait, swerving from side to side, so that the animal will be confused about your direction of attack. Many stores in Scotland also sell Haggis Whistles. It is claimed that "in skilled hands this whistle can perfectly mimic the mating call of the Haggis."

It is sometimes said that Haggis is actually a traditional Scottish dish made from the heart, liver, and lungs of a sheep, mixed with oatmeal, suet, and seasonings, and boiled in the stomach of the animal. This is far too disgusting to be true.