Dancing, bagpiping and haggis: Edmontonians celebrate Robert Burns Day – Edmonton

Scottish Edmontonians celebrated their heritage at Rutherford House on Sunday with traditional dancing, bagpiping and of course — haggis.

The festivities were in anticipation of Robert Burns Day, the celebration of the birthday one of Scotland’s best-known poets. Burns’ birthday is celebrated around the world each year on Jan. 25.

Ron de Jong, the historical interpreter at the University of Alberta’s Rutherford House, said Burns was “a man of the people,” and his poetry reflected that.

“He was certainly not some wealthy nobleman that was, you know, sitting on an ivory tower,” de Jong said. “He represents the common man.”


Event attendees enjoyed some traditional Scottish haggis. (CBC)

The annual event has taken place at Rutherford House for the past 25 years, partly to honour Alberta’s premier, Alexander Rutherford.

The first premier had Scottish roots, which is why Burns’ birthday has been celebrated at Rutherford House for the past 25 years, de Jong said.

“The former premier of Alberta, as a good Scotsman, would’ve been very supportive of celebrating the poet laureate of Scotland,” he said.

The annual celebration gives Scottish Edmontonians a chance to celebrate their history.

“The Scots certainly, as many ethnicities and cultures throughout the ages, are part of the birth and the creation of Canada,” de Jong said.

Scottish dancing

Several highland dance performances were part of Sunday’s festivities. (CBC)

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