I get excited finding cultural celebrations that are free or almost free. I go to a lot, and entrance fees can add up. I’m probably one of the few people thrilled to honour Robbie Burns with tea.
Most people celebrate Scotland’s famous poet with whiskey and haggis. A bag piper leads the procession as the haggis is brought in. Then someone wearing a kilt recites his poetry in a Scottish language and proceeds to cut up and distribute the haggis. Haggis consists of what was available on a Scottish farm: sheep’s innards, onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt. It is stuffed into the animal’s stomach. Many Scots don’t like it. But it should be tried at least once – for the sake of multiculturalism.
Most people won’t understand the poetry, but poetry in any language, sounds beautiful. As you can see, this isn’t usually a cheap or easy ceremony. But it’s charming and lively.
Metropolitan United Church’s is feting the writer with “Tea at the Met” on January 22 from 12:30 to 2pm. It says it’s a “… time for Haggis, Tatties and Nips, & proclaim a toast to the Lads and Lasses.” I think anyone who’s ever sung “Auld Lang Syne” (and who hasn’t?), should raise a cup or glass.
The Metropolitan United Church Met Centre is at 56 Queen St. E. Tel.
416-363-0331. Freewill offering. For more info, click on: http://bit.ly/xV3SDq .
Mackenzie House is also having a relatively inexpensive celebration of the bard’s birthday. It’s also on January 22. 12-4:30pm. Entry fee for adults $5.71, cheaper for seniors and kids. It offers shortbread, live music, and haggis.
Mackenzie House is at 82 Bond St., near Yonge and Dundas St. E. For map, see http://bit.ly/yWn9DP. You can tour Mackenzie House then too and learn about William Lyon Mackenzie who led a rebellion down Yonge St. In 1837. It’s one of the City of Toronto’s historical museums and is said to be haunted. http://www.toronto.ca/culture/museums/mackenzie.htm .