Don’t let the miserable weather get you down. Instead, raise your inner spirits by partaking in an exciting new tradition. You don’t have to be Scottish to hoist a glass on Robbie Burns Day—nor do you have to be Christian to appreciate the spirit and merriment of Mardi Gras. Being Canadian is a good enough reason to revel in the diversity of cultural celebrations we are fortunate to have happening all around us.
Here are five cultural celebrations to put on your winter calendar:
- Robbie Burns Day – On January 25th, celebrate the life and work of literary icon Robert Burns, a Scottish author who is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland. Born in 1759, it wasn’t until after his death 37 years later that he became a cultural icon, commemorated each year on his birthday with “Burns suppers” featuring traditional Scottish fare, tartans, bagpipes and poetry readings.
- Chinese New Year – A fun, lively event that falls each year between January 21 and February 20, according to the lunar calendar. The Chinese New Year is celebrated with feasts, parades, fireworks, and the act of giving “luck money” in red envelopes to children. This year, if falls on January 25th, marking the Year of the Rat.
- Mardis Gras – Originating in Medieval Europe, Mardis Gras (or “Fat Tuesday”) happens in late February or early March, at the start of Lent. In New Orleans, people are known to wear intricate costumes and attend huge parades, while Brazil’s Carnaval is famous for its spirited street festivals that attract millions.
- St. Patrick’s Day – Saint Patrick’s Day is a cultural and religious celebration held on March 17th marking the death of Saint Patrick, the foremost patron saint of Ireland. Around the world, Irish-themed parties featuring traditional Irish stew and stout—sometimes tinted green—make this an exuberant occasion for all.
- Holi – On March 20th, from sundown to sundown, Holi is observed in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and other countries with large Hindu and Sikh populations. People celebrate Holi by throwing coloured powder and water at each other. Bonfires are lit the day before in the memory of the young, pious Prahlada.
Join us January 25th for Robbie Burns Dinner
“Some hae meat and canna eat, – And some wad eat that want it; But we hae meat, and we can eat, Sae let the Lord be thankit.”
Come hear traditional bagpipes and a time-honoured poetry reading while filling up on a five-course meal of cock-a-leekie soup and prime roast beef, accompanied by…you guessed it…haggis.
Click here to see the complete menu and book your table, while there’s still space.