25th January is Burns Night. As we are currently dealing with English-speaking countries, this reading would help you improve your knowledge of Scotland and its people.
A. Read about Robert Burns and complete the fact file.
Date of birth:
Place of birth:
Age at death:
Robert Burns was born in Alloway, a small village in southern Scotland, on 25th January 1759. He was the son of a farmer, and was called the Ploughman Poet because he had been a farm worker. The small cottage in Alloway where he lived is now a museum. He died in 1796 from rheumatic fever, at the age of 37.
B. Read about Burns night and match the words related to Scotland (in bold) with the definitions.
1. a large group of families
2. a pattern of lines and squares
3. a Scottish musical instrument
4. people from Scotland
5. traditional Scottish clothing
6. two examples of traditional Scottish food
On Burns Night, Scots all over the world commemorate the birthday of Robert Burns. A traditional Burns Night celebration consists of a large formal dinner. The men wear kilts - "skirts" in the tartan of their clan - and old songs are sung, there is Scottish dancing and, of course, Burns' poetry.
At the dinner they eat the traditional Scottish dish haggis. A haggis is made from a sheep's stomach stuffed with minced heart, liver, suet (animal fat) and oatmeal (a cereal that is also used to make porridge, another famous Scottish food). It doesn't sound very nice, but in fact it's delicious! It is called "The king of the feast", and is carried in to the sound of bagpipes. Burns' poem "Ode to a haggis" is often recited to the haggis.
C. Read the extract from the poem "Ode to a haggis" and then match each line with the modern translation.
Fair fa' your honest sonsie face
Great chieftan o' the puddin' race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place
Painch, tripe or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.
a. Above them all you take your place
b. Well are you worthy of a grace ('grace' is a prayer spoken before a meal)
c. A blessing on your honest friendly face
d. As long as my arm
e. (these are all names for very cheap parts of an animal!)
f. Great leader of the pudding race
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Monday, 25 January 2010
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
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