On 25 January 1759 poet Robert Burns was born and on that day all over Scotland and the rest of the world where the Scots have settled, Burns Supper are organised and attended.
Barga with its huge Scottish tradition of course took part in these celebrations but this year a week later than normal.
More than 250 years after his birth, guests sat down last night for the Annual Burns Supper organised at Da Riccardo on the Fosso.
To add to the occasion, the guest of honour – the haggis, was “captured” and flown in specially that morning on the Glasgow – Pisa flight.
Burns Suppers have been part of Scottish culture for about 200 years as a means of commemorating their best loved bard. And when Burns immortalised haggis in verse he created a central link that is maintained to this day.
The ritual was started by close friends of Burns a few years after his death in 1796 as a tribute to his memory.
The basic format for the evening has remained unchanged since that time and begins when the chairman invites the company to receive the haggis.
Usually at this event there is the sound of bagpipes playing during the evening but the flu epidemic which has been gradually creeping up on the Italian population laid low the piper Nick MacVicar from Pisa forcing him to miss the event.
The earthquake alert (article here) which meant that many people in Barga Vecchia had to leave their homes for the night, also curtailed the Burns Supper to some extent but still people enjoyed themselves at Da Riccardo’s feasting on smoked salmon and of course the traditional fare of Bashed Neeps, Tatties and Haggis.
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