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INFO ON BURNS SUPPERS

Around the world tributes to the life and works of Robert Burns are held, through the ritual of the Burns Supper. Originally started a few years after his death by a group of his friends and acquaintances, in to honour his memory, the suppers are now celebrated annually on the date of his birth, 25th January.

No Burns Supper would be complete without The Haggis, The Drink (normally Whisky), The Songs, The Recitals, The Dance and of course the most important ingredient of all The Fun. If Burns were alive today he too would surely have enjoyed the celebrations! To find out the perfect ingredients needed to hold your very own Burns Supper click here

EatScotland your official guide to eating and drinking throughout Scotland provides full details and further useful information on Burns Suppers and other traditional Scottish fare.

What to expect from a Burns Supper

There are guidelines and observances to be followed and traditionally, guests at the Supper are involved in these observances helping to make it a great event. Detail of the traditional format of a Burns Supper are listed below.

Piping in the Top Table

The top table guests are piped in (if it's a formal gathering) and the assembled gathering welcomes them by clapping along to the music. If it's a smaller event and there is no piper, then traditional music soundtrack is normally played. When ready to be seated, the piper stops playing and the guests give a round of applause.

Chairman's Welcome

The Chairman's role as 'Master of Ceremonies' is very important to direct proceedings throughout the evening. The Chairman welcomes everyone and introduces the top table, speakers and entertainers and may run through the sequence of events for the evening. Then it is customary to say the 'Selkirk Grace' before the starter is served:

"Some hae meat and canna eat,

And some would eat that want it,

But we hae meat, and we can eat,

Sae let the Lord be thankit."

Piping in the Haggis

The Chairman asks the guests to be upstanding to receive the star attraction the haggis. This is delivered to the table with pomp and ceremony, presented on a silver platter, carried on high by the chef. The small procession, including the person who will address the haggis as well as perhaps a whisky bearer, is led in by the piper, playing 'Brose & Butter' or some other rousing tune.

The Address to the Haggis

The appointed speaker then gives a resounding and dramatic rendition of Burns' 'To a Haggis' With dirk or knife at the ready, he first apologises for 'killing' the haggis, then during the line 'An' cut you up wi' ready slight' meaning 'and cut you up with skill', the speaker savagely stabs his knife into the haggis and slices along its length, trenching its gushing entrails (digging its innards) with a great flourish. The recital ends with the speaker raising the platter above his head, showing the audience the steaming dish and uttering the triumphant words: 'Gie her a Haggis!' to rapturous applause.

Toast to the Haggis

The speaker then asks the guests to share in a toast to the haggis. Everyone stands and raises their glass to 'The Haggis', shouting out the words loudly and with gusto. The piper again begins to play, leading the haggis back out of the dining room in preparation for the dinner. Again the audience claps in time to the music as the procession departs.

Interval

After the meal, there is a brief comfort break while the table is cleared.

First Entertainer

The Chairman introduces the first entertainer who could be a singer or musician performing one of Burns' songs such as 'My Luve is like a Red, Red Rose', 'Ae Fond Kiss', 'Rantin, Rovin Robin' or 'John Anderson, My Jo'. Popular recitals include 'Tam O Shanter', 'To A Louse', 'Address to the Unco Guid', 'Holy Willie's Prayer' or 'A Man's A Man For A' That'.

The Immortal Memory

The main speaker is introduced and gives a spell-binding account of the life of Burns. His literary prowess, his politics, his Nationalistic pride in Scotland, his humanity, his faults and his humour should all be explored, giving the audience an insight into the life and works of the Bard in a witty, yet serious way. The speaker concludes with an invitation to join in a heart-felt toast: 'To the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns'.

Second Entertainer

More celebration of Burns' work or anything that honours the immortal memory and spirit of the Bard.

Toast to the Lassies

This humorous speech, gently ridiculing the (few) shortcomings of women should raise smiles from both sides of the mixed company, so anything too chauvinistic and cutting should be kept in check! Despite the tongue-in-cheek ribbing, the speech ends on a complimentary note, with the speaker asking the men to be upstanding to raise their glasses in a toast 'To the Lassies'

Third Entertainer

More song, dance, fiddling, recitals.

Reply to the Toast to the Lassies

This is the chance for the women to retort with cunning, wit and a few good-natured jibes of their own. The speech often begins with a sarcastic thanks on behalf of the women present for the previous speaker's 'kind' words and then gives a lively response highlighting the foibles of the male race, using reference to Burns and the women in his life. Again, this finishes on a positive note.

Final Entertainer

A final entertainer bravely faces the by now more than likely more than merry audience.

Vote of Thanks

As the festivities draw to a close, a vote of thanks is made to everyone who has made the evening such a success, from the chairman and chef to the entertainers and guests.

Auld Lang Syne

The traditional end to a Burns Supper' or indeed, any gathering among the company of friends' is the singing of this famous Burns' song about parting. The company join hands, often in a large circle, and belt out the words together. At the line: 'And here's a hand', you cross each of your hands over to rejoin those standing on either side of you.

Hugs

Alexandria

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Dear Global Friend of Scotland

I want to extend you a very warm invitation to join our year long Homecoming Scotland celebrations in Scotland in 2009.

2009 marks the 250th birth anniversary of our national poet and international cultural icon Robert Burns whose message of friendship and 'Auld Lang Syne' lives on.

And Burns is the inspiration behind our year long celebration of Scotland's great contributions to the world: Golf, Whisky, The Enlightenment and Innovation, Burns himself and our rich culture and heritage.

A programme of exciting and inspirational events and activities will run throughout 2009, complimenting the vast range of world-class attractions already offered in Scotland.

From the world's biggest ever International Clan Gathering in Edinburgh to Celtic Connections in Glasgow and from the Open Championship at Turnberry to the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival, it promises to be an exceptional year to visit our great nation.

My email reaches out to the worldwide network of Global Friends of Scotland who promote our nation's culture and heritage so successfully and further the interests of Scotland overseas.

I would also be grateful if you could help the Homecoming Scotland team at EventScotland in any one or all of the following ways:

please complete our short online survey about Homecoming Scotland

download the Homecoming Scotland 2009 logo and please use in future communications with your business peer group and others you influence

create a link to homecomingscotland.com from your website

allow us permission* to email you updates on Homecoming Scotland from time to time

Above all, I would encourage you to get behind Homecoming Scotland 2009 and spread the word to family and friends who you can motivate to visit Scotland in 2009.

The Homecoming Scotland team, in partnership with VisitScotland, will contact you by email over the next 18 months with updates on our exciting Homecoming programme and information on new and great value travel deals for travelling to and staying in Scotland during 2009.

My colleagues in the new Scottish Government and I look forward to welcoming you and your members in Scotland during 2009.

Here's to Burns, his enduring legacy, his pride in our great nation and his inspiration for our Homecoming celebrations.

Yours Aye

Alex Salmond

Scotland's First Minister

Hugs

Alexandria

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Hi RT Clan :wave:

Wishing you all a happy Robert Burns day and thanking you for all your wonderful support on RT Robert Burns.

Please checkout the pic of Gerard on our front page :pant::heat: in honour of why RT Robert Burns was started, on the eve of Robert Burns Birthday.

Thank You

Love Rose

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:wave: Hello there!

I've only just discovered this place, and haven't had time to read all that has been posted, but I would like to wish everyone here a super Burn's night and a great Burn's supper! As I settle back to listen to Tam O'Shanter, I'll be thinking of you and all the other descendants and expats all over the world and just wondering what he would have thought of all the fuss going on at the time of his birthday!! :laugh:

I've been in Paris and other places since my 21st birthday, when I decided to leave Scotland (a while ago now) and have always at least tried to either think of him, play some of his songs or eat haggis and neeps wherever I've been on the 25th of January...Not always an easy thing to find, but luckily McSweens export to Paris! Our school was very keen on us learning most of his songs and reading if not learning by heart an awful lot of his poems ... You see, one of his illegitimate daughters, Elizabeth, married a Mr. John Polkemmet from our town and was buried in our cemetary, along with her infant daughter, Mary in 1817 so we have always felt quite a link with him ....

Anyway, I wish you all a great evening and "Lang may yer lums reek!"

:hearts:

Sorsha xxxx

PS I posted a little "Happy Burn's Night " wish in All Things Scotitsh thread :meninkilts:

Edited by Sorsha

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Welcome to the thread Sorsha!!!! Great to read your post.

Burns' Night around the world - See How The World Celebrates

This January 25th people will be tucking into their haggis in the sweltering heat of Argentina and Australia and in the icy Canadian winter, while Londoners will be able to enjoy a month-long promotion of all things Scottish at the world-famous Harvey Nichols store.

Burns' Night around the world

Find out what is happening all across the globe during Burns' Night Celebrations.

UK Africa Americas Asia Australasia

Europe

Interesting articles

The Burns Supper - Ultimate Fun: There's nothing quite like the Burns Supper in the world . . . round about 25th January every year, Scots men and women, alumni of Scottish schools and universities, employees and clients of Scottish businesses, lovers or descendents of Scots all gather to celebrate the birthday of our national poet, Robert Burns.

May 2007

Burns' Festivals 2007: One thing we know well — Robert Burns liked a party!

How much more would he have enjoyed a whole festival — especially if he were the guest of honour!

February 2006

The Immortal Memory: A mainstay of Burns Suppers, the Immortal Memory celebrates Burns' enduring spirit. It's a fitting tribute for one who himself did so much to preserve and popularise Scotland's rich historical, cultural and literary heritage.

January 2006

"As ithers hear us": This Burns Night, as you clear your throat before launching into a well-practiced rendition of Tam O'Shanter or Holy Willie's Prayer, be sure to mind your P's and Q's, or should that be your R's and CH's.

December 2005

Old Acquaintance: "Auld Lang Syne" which means "old long ago" was actually discovered, not written, by Robert Burns in 1788.

January 2005

Robert Burns at the United Nations: "For a' that, an a' that, It's coming yet for a' that, That man to man the world o'er Shall brothers be for a' that."

January 2004

Burns in a box 2004: At New Year, on St Andrew's Night and on Burns Night, Auld Lang Syne — Burns' famous song of friendship — unfailingly rounds off the celebrations in homes, village halls, ballrooms and at street parties around the world.

October 2002

1.6 million Scots speakers — for sterters: A recent Scottish Executive survey estimates that there are 1.6 million active Scots speakers in Scotland today, and Scots Language insiders estimate that there's a vast number who also use the language 'passively'.

May 2006

The Forgotten Connections Between Abraham Lincoln and Robert Burns: At some time during the mid 1820s, after his pioneer family had crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky to southern Indiana, the teen-aged Lincoln stumbled across a collection of Burns' poetry.

July 2006

Why Scottish Literature Matters: Why should the study of Scottish literature still matter in a globalised world? The question is certainly relevant to Scots, but also, in its wider implications, to many students, scholars and readers who locate themselves outside its borders.

May 2004

"As ithers see us": Oor Wullie's recent accession to the throne of top Scottish icon begs the question asked by Burns "How do others view the Scots and what do they think of Scotland?"

September 2002

West Coast Astronomy: The tanned, eager faces of a table-full of Canadian climbers looked up at me, bemused but amused, as I launched into addressing a haggis which had taken two days to track down in deepest British Columbia.

Scots Soundtrack to New Year everywhere: It's New Year's Eve and the bells have just struck midnight. From Bombay to Baltimore, Moscow to Madrid and Sydney to Swindon, what is everyone singing? No question about it, with the possible exception of 'Happy Birthday', 'Auld Lang Syne' is the most popular song in the world!

Burns and Slavery: "Burns has also been described as a poet of the poor, an advocate of social and political change, and an opponent of slavery, pomposity and greed . . ."

Scottish - Probably the Best Accent in the World: . . . the chances are that if you dropped a Scotsman into the middle of the Amazonian

Watch Burns performer Chris Tait reciting Address to a Haggis and read the words below.

The video clips are reproduced with kind permission of Robert Burns Live

All videos are available in .mov, .rm and .wmv format. To view the video, click on the links for your preferred format and bandwidth. Right-click the files and choose Save to save them to your hard-drive.

Video playback requires Quicktime Player, Real Player or Windows Media Player. The appropriate video format and associated speed are indicated.

Quicktime

Address to a Haggis 56k

Address to a Haggis 512k

Real Media

Address to a Haggis 56k

Address to a Haggis 512k

Windows Media

Address to a Haggis 56k

Address to a Haggis 512k

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,

Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!

Aboon them a' ye tak your place,

Painch, tripe, or thairm:

Weel are ye wordy of a grace

As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,

Your hurdies like a distant hill,

Your pin wad help to mend a mill

In time o' need,

While thro' your pores the dews distil

Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,

An' cut ye up wi' ready slight,

Trenching your gushing entrails bright

Like onie ditch;

And then, O what a glorious sight,

Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they strech an' strive:

Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,

Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve,

Are bent like drums;

Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,

'Bethankit!' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout

Or olio that wad staw a sow,

Or fricassee wad mak her spew

Wi' perfect sconner,

Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view

On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,

As feckless as a wither'd rash,

His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,

His nieve a nit;

Thro' bluidy flood or field to dash,

O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,

The trembling earth resounds his tread.

Clap in his walie nieve a blade,

He'll make it whissle;

An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned,

Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,

And dish them out their bill o 'fare,

Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware

That jaups in luggies;

But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,

Gie her a Haggis!

Hugs

Alexandria

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Welcome to the thread Sorsha!!!! Great to read your post.

Burns' Night around the world - See How The World Celebrates

This January 25th people will be tucking into their haggis in the sweltering heat of Argentina and Australia and in the icy Canadian winter, while Londoners will be able to enjoy a month-long promotion of all things Scottish at the world-famous Harvey Nichols store.

Burns' Night around the world

Find out what is happening all across the globe during Burns' Night Celebrations.

UK Africa Americas Asia Australasia

Europe

Interesting articles

The Burns Supper - Ultimate Fun: There's nothing quite like the Burns Supper in the world . . . round about 25th January every year, Scots men and women, alumni of Scottish schools and universities, employees and clients of Scottish businesses, lovers or descendents of Scots all gather to celebrate the birthday of our national poet, Robert Burns.

May 2007

Burns' Festivals 2007: One thing we know well — Robert Burns liked a party!

How much more would he have enjoyed a whole festival — especially if he were the guest of honour!

February 2006

The Immortal Memory: A mainstay of Burns Suppers, the Immortal Memory celebrates Burns' enduring spirit. It's a fitting tribute for one who himself did so much to preserve and popularise Scotland's rich historical, cultural and literary heritage.

January 2006

"As ithers hear us": This Burns Night, as you clear your throat before launching into a well-practiced rendition of Tam O'Shanter or Holy Willie's Prayer, be sure to mind your P's and Q's, or should that be your R's and CH's.

December 2005

Old Acquaintance: "Auld Lang Syne" which means "old long ago" was actually discovered, not written, by Robert Burns in 1788.

January 2005

Robert Burns at the United Nations: "For a' that, an a' that, It's coming yet for a' that, That man to man the world o'er Shall brothers be for a' that."

January 2004

Burns in a box 2004: At New Year, on St Andrew's Night and on Burns Night, Auld Lang Syne — Burns' famous song of friendship — unfailingly rounds off the celebrations in homes, village halls, ballrooms and at street parties around the world.

October 2002

1.6 million Scots speakers — for sterters: A recent Scottish Executive survey estimates that there are 1.6 million active Scots speakers in Scotland today, and Scots Language insiders estimate that there's a vast number who also use the language 'passively'.

May 2006

The Forgotten Connections Between Abraham Lincoln and Robert Burns: At some time during the mid 1820s, after his pioneer family had crossed the Ohio River from Kentucky to southern Indiana, the teen-aged Lincoln stumbled across a collection of Burns' poetry.

July 2006

Why Scottish Literature Matters: Why should the study of Scottish literature still matter in a globalised world? The question is certainly relevant to Scots, but also, in its wider implications, to many students, scholars and readers who locate themselves outside its borders.

May 2004

"As ithers see us": Oor Wullie's recent accession to the throne of top Scottish icon begs the question asked by Burns "How do others view the Scots and what do they think of Scotland?"

September 2002

West Coast Astronomy: The tanned, eager faces of a table-full of Canadian climbers looked up at me, bemused but amused, as I launched into addressing a haggis which had taken two days to track down in deepest British Columbia.

Scots Soundtrack to New Year everywhere: It's New Year's Eve and the bells have just struck midnight. From Bombay to Baltimore, Moscow to Madrid and Sydney to Swindon, what is everyone singing? No question about it, with the possible exception of 'Happy Birthday', 'Auld Lang Syne' is the most popular song in the world!

Burns and Slavery: "Burns has also been described as a poet of the poor, an advocate of social and political change, and an opponent of slavery, pomposity and greed . . ."

Scottish - Probably the Best Accent in the World: . . . the chances are that if you dropped a Scotsman into the middle of the Amazonian

Watch Burns performer Chris Tait reciting Address to a Haggis and read the words below.

The video clips are reproduced with kind permission of Robert Burns Live

All videos are available in .mov, .rm and .wmv format. To view the video, click on the links for your preferred format and bandwidth. Right-click the files and choose Save to save them to your hard-drive.

Video playback requires Quicktime Player, Real Player or Windows Media Player. The appropriate video format and associated speed are indicated.

Quicktime

Address to a Haggis 56k

Address to a Haggis 512k

Real Media

Address to a Haggis 56k

Address to a Haggis 512k

Windows Media

Address to a Haggis 56k

Address to a Haggis 512k

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,

Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!

Aboon them a' ye tak your place,

Painch, tripe, or thairm:

Weel are ye wordy of a grace

As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,

Your hurdies like a distant hill,

Your pin wad help to mend a mill

In time o' need,

While thro' your pores the dews distil

Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,

An' cut ye up wi' ready slight,

Trenching your gushing entrails bright

Like onie ditch;

And then, O what a glorious sight,

Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they strech an' strive:

Deil tak the hindmost! on they drive,

Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve,

Are bent like drums;

Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,

'Bethankit!' hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout

Or olio that wad staw a sow,

Or fricassee wad mak her spew

Wi' perfect sconner,

Looks down wi' sneering, scornfu' view

On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,

As feckless as a wither'd rash,

His spindle shank, a guid whip-lash,

His nieve a nit;

Thro' bluidy flood or field to dash,

O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,

The trembling earth resounds his tread.

Clap in his walie nieve a blade,

He'll make it whissle;

An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned,

Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow'rs wha mak mankind your care,

And dish them out their bill o 'fare,

Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware

That jaups in luggies;

But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer,

Gie her a Haggis!

Hugs

Alexandria

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Welcome Sorsha and thank you. I hope you had a wonderful Burns night and lovely to see you here on the thread. :wave: I hope you will join and help us with some great scottish articles. :wave:

Please welcome two amazing new Honorary Members on RT Robert Burns, the incredible and handsome

british tenor, Gari Glasher and wonderful Scottish born now living in Australia, soprano Kathleen Procter-Moore, who sings beautiful celtic songs too, hence the connection. She also adores Gerard which is super. They both have just the most wonderful voices and we will be posting more about them soon. They have also made a couple of beautiful duets together and are really the loveliest of people. I am not exaggerating when i say Gari has a lot of Gerards inner qualities, its uncanny and as you can see his outside qualities aren't so bad either. :pant:

Here are a few videos to see, including the amazing Sarabande with lyrics by Gari to his wife, to POTO by our fantastic video maker

Sooth, they all adore it and have been passing it around their fans too, so more are learning about Gerard at the same time which is perfect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZBgvseB1l4 - Sarabande

- E Lucevan Le Stelle

- Kathleen sings O Mio Babbino Caro

There will be more information on RT Robert Burns later for those who would love to learn more about these special people.

Also please check out Peigi McCanns lovely Burns tribute with the pipes by Skirlie from the amazing warrior band The Trybe, also

RT members i am pleased to say, lovely guys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSKk3cprAfg

Love Rose

Edited by rosemarie

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:wave: Hello!

Thank you Rose for these great links, I enjoyed them very much ...

I would be happy to be of any kind of use with anything Scottish, but to my great embarrassment, I find that very often the descendants of Scots all over the world know just as much, if not more than I do .... !

I'll be around, in any case, :)

:hearts:

Sorsha

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THANK YOU ROSE FOR INTRODUCING US ALL

TO THE IMMENSE TALENTS OF GARI GLASHER !!!

HOW WONDERFUL TO HAVE HIM

AS A HONORARY MEMBER OF LECLUBLAIR !!!

DLSPBS - LADY PAT

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Thank you Sorsha and Pat. :wave:

Yes it is lovely to have Gari with us on RT Burns and LCL and he is doing his first big major concert

in London in june at the 02 arena (millenium Dome) so everyone is over the moon for him, he is such a lovely and really appreciates his fans. I shall be there cheering him on, his voice is amazing.

On RT now there is a nice slideshow link of David Sibbald at The Rotary Club's Burns Supper 2008, he sent it to us so we can see what goes on.

Love Rose

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http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fusea...33-09e2b015e732

Hi everyone :wave:

Please checkout our honorary member, pop musician mykeo's new video for Red Red Rose for Valentines day, dedicated to the

bonnie lassies of New York, it is really romantic and a great smoochy song to dance too, it will reach new audiences for Robert Burns and please leave him a comment on youtube if you can, its much appreciated.

At the top, is a link to mike's myspace page, he has a free download of the song now, for you all to send to your loved

ones on valentines day, lets give him our utmost support he really deserves it, trying to get the RB message far and wide.

Love Rose

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THANK YOU ROSE FOR BRINGING OUR ATTENTION

TO THE TALENTS OF MYKEO !!!

THE RED RED ROSE TRIBUTE TO THE LADIES OF NEW YORK

IS HAUNTING INDEED !!!

DLSPBS - PAT :rose:

P.S. MAYBE NEXT TIME HE WILL INCLUDE ONE FOR THE CHICAGO ROSE !!!

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IN HONOR OF OUR RT BURNS GROUP CELEBRATING 1ST ANNVERSARY - FEBRUARY 11, 2008

WE PROUDLY PULL TOGETHER AND STAND FIRM , STAND STRONG, TO STRIVE TO KEEP THE ROBERT BURNS FLAME BURNING BRIGHTLY, FOREVER BRILLIANT, FOREVER STRONG

WITH OUR ETERNAL ADMIRATION AND ABUNDANT PASSION WE UNITE AS A TEAM AND ALL WORK TOGETHER, JUST HOW CAN WE STUMBLE, JUST HOW CAN WE GO WRONG

FOR MANY GENERATIONS HIS WORDS AND THOUGHTS HAVE INSPIRED MANY OF US TO PEN TO MEMORY A VERSE OR TWO FROM HIS MANY LOVE SONGS

HIS HEARTFELT WORDS HAVE MADE MANY OF US PONDER, WHAT IS LOVE?, WHAT IS GREAT PASSION?

HIS MASTER OF THE WRITTEN WORD WILL LIVE ON FOREVER AND WILL NEVER BE DEEMED OUT OF DATE OR OUT OF FASHION

THIS DAPPER SCOTTISH LAD HAS UNITED US ALL, MADE US STAND TALL AS WE HEED THE CALL

THE SOUND OF BAGPIPES ECHOS ACROSS THE POND AS WE GEAR UP FOR HOMECOMING 2009 AND ONE HECK OF A GRAND SCOTTISH BALL

ONE YEAR AGO WE EMBARKED ON THIS WONDERUL BURNS ODESSEY WITH BRIGHT EYES. HIGH HOPES, AND WONDERFUL DREAMS

WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED, ALONG THE WAY

"RED,RED ROSES" AND WONDERFUL MOUNTAIN STREAMS

IT IS A GREAT HONOR TO HAVE WITH US AND JOIN OUR TEAM SOME WONDERFUL TALENTED HONORARY MEMBERS WHO HAVE ADDED SO MUCH PIZZAZZ AND COLORFUL THEMES

I WANT TO TAKE A WEE MOMENT TO THANK EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU WHO HELPED TO COMPLETE THE CIRCLE AND WHO WITHOUT EACH OF YOU WE WOULD NOT BE WHOLE

WE WILL MOVE FORWARD, CONTINUE TO SHARE, CONTINUE TO GROW AND 2009 WILL BE HERE BEFORE WE KNOW

WE WILL CONTINUE TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT SCOTLAND AND THEIR FAVORIATE BARD AND THE ETERNAL FLAME OF ROBERT BURNS WILL BURN FOREVER BRIGHTLY --------

THERE ONCE WAS A DREAM THAT WAS BURNS............IT SHALL BE REALIZED

Thank you all for your wonderful support it means the world

HUGS

Alexandria

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HAPPY 1st ANNIVERSARY RT BURNS !!!

ROSE AND ALEX - A GREAT JOB INDEED !!!

:cheer2:

DLSPBS - LADY PAT - THE CHICAGO ROSE :rose:

ROBERT BURNS - THE ROLE GERARD BUTLER WAS MEANT TO PLAY !!!

Edited by DLSPBS

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A SPECIAL BURNS COLLECTABLE TO CELEBRATE RT BURNS 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

A SPECIAL TREAT AS OUR BURNS GROUP CELEBRATES 1 YEAR FEB 11, 2008

IN HONOR OF OUR 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY FOR RT BURNS WILL WILL HOLD A RAFFLE TO ALL OUR MEMBERS FOR THIS WONDERFUL MUST HAVE ROBERT BURNS COLLECTABLE, ALL MEMBERS WILL HAVE THEIR NAMES PLACED IN A HAT AND ONE LUCKY MEMBER WILL WIN THIS:

TIMELESS BURNS

"A Man's a Man for Aa That"

Fundraising Commemorative

KEEPSAKE MUG

With Hand-crafted Gift Tag Designed By You!

To Celebrate and Commemorate

the

250th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert Burns

in 2009

Offered for sale well in advance of 2009 to raise funds (donation of £1 profit per mug) to provide a commemorative sculpture in our home town of Keith to honour our poet, celebrate, elevate and progress our language, delight our visitors and create a legacy for future generations.(donating similarly towards a 2009 celebration in Winnipeg, Canada). THANKS MAGGIE FOR INCLUDING WINNIPEG, YOU ARE A GEM!!!

DESCRIPTION

This generously-sized, premium quality, bone china keepsake mug with gold metallic rim and handle flash incorporates our own specially-commissioned image of Burns, with details of the anniversary and an excerpt from his powerful global anthem, A Man's a Man for Aa That, on the reverse.

PRESENTATION

Includes carefully hand-crafted gift tag - designed by you - offering no less than 754 design combinations including 23 tartans and a multitude of greetings covering relationships, occasions (including Christmas) and general giving, all tags incorporating our 21st Century response to Burns within the extended insert . .

"The monie trials the world his seen, twa hunner year an mair, man

Wid draw a tear fae solid stane, the journey's been sae sair, man.

Bit for it aa, we'll wirk awa, though whiles, nae doot, we'll stray, man,

That vision braw, Utopia! will yet be oors some day, man!!"

Attractively packaged in sturdy, gold metallic, linen-effect gift box. A special gift at a special time, uniquely presented.

This wonderful keepsake has been donated by my wonderful friend Maggie at MITHERTONGUE , check out her site:

http://www.mithertongue.co.uk/home.shtml

http://moo.mithertongue.co.uk/mith/searchr...+Mug+&cat3=

I wanted to share something with you that my grandfather told me long ago as a child and I carry it with me to this day.

In the 1920's my grandfather was a French man working in the digs in Egypt and he fell in love with the city of Alexandria, that is what I am named after. He told me he helped to uncover many wonderful things and things that had been buried for thousands of years in the sands of Egypt and we again seeing the light of day in a new era.

He said to me, "My child the many names that have been written in history that have been buried benneath the buring sands for thousands of years are names we still speak of today and we remember their names, they are names that will never be forgotten and to be spoke of no matter of what the tone is to be remembered and that is indeed a great thing, it can never be forgotten".

This is how I feel about ROBERT BURNS AND SCOTLAND - THEY WILL LIVE ON FOREVER AND HAVE LEFT HUGE FOOTPRINTS IN HISTORY.

Here is as well our theme song for our group a verse I am quite proud of:

There Once Was A Dream, A Dream That Was Burns

Once there was a dream that was Burns and you could only say it in a whisper

To hope and pray that one day a dream could come true and could be realized

The distant Ancient Highlands would say his name in a whisper and send it along on the north wind, Burns, Burns, Burns

Can you hear the name from within the distant fog and spread about the moors

It is a name that history has written within her book with tears of forbidden love that is for sure

Love and hate we are told indeed go hand in hand, throughout the ages of time they both indeed span

Burns is indeed a legend, a myth and is truly more than a mortal man

His words of love, passion have tested time itself, more than he could have ever planned

He takes his rightful place as a romantic and can be said he was a realist, far beyond his given time

His words of passion make you dig down within your heart and soul, you say with a gentle whisper, I wish him to be mine

Many a fair maiden have fallen under his spell, how many through the years, it is hard to tell

The promise of true love and devotion pulls at your very soul and is part of the very magic of the spell

Without his words and touch your body feels like a distant empty shell

So as you drift through the years remember as it nears your time to pass, there once was a dream, a dream that was Burns and it has been realized

This is a event that meant alot to our RT Burns Group:

For over 100 years this wonderful Burns book as been passed down through the generations and it passed to me by my Grandfather who told me before he died, to pass it along to a special person who is kind of heart and kind of soul, he made me swear to do it as his last dying wish. He said it has to go to a person who is full of dreams and a soul that touches others at it travels through life, well to me that is Gerard, he has touches so many and continues to touch so many.

My Great Great Grandfather had it with him all during the first World War and he said it kept him sane all through the death and madness of the war, it has seen many a battlefield all through Europe and he prized it above even his cigarettes. He read from it as one of his fellow soliders lay dying on the battle field and held his hand to ease his suffering, so the book as been many places and has been help near to many people's heart in my family and it was sent to Gerard Butler from all of us at Team Burns.

It just seemed the right thing to do and to get us rolling to begin this wonderful Burns Journey together.

The book is 177 years old and I have read it many times as a child and held great wonder in my eyes.

It is published in 1830 Volume 11 - Poetical Works Of Robert Burns

Our RT Burns Group presented this Rare Burns Book on behalf of all of us at Team Burns as we wait for the Dream that is Burns to begin

I wanted to keep you up to speed on what is happening with our RT Burns group as we continue to help spread the word about Homecoming Scotland and the Burns Anniversary in 2009. We are hard at work as we are spreading the word to all corners of the globe with huge success and we have so many Famous Scots who are joining us as Honorary Members such as:

THE TRYBE, EDDI READER, DAVID SIBBALD, ARTIST STEVE FRASER, CHERYL ANN EASTON, MIKE GIBB, SHEILA GRAHAM, DAVE ARCARI, KING DAVID, ISLE OF MANN, THE SCOTTISH TEABAG SOCIETY, KEVIN WALSH, SPOTTY DOGG, GAVIN GOURLEY, FRANK DOUGAN, GARI GLAYSHER, SCOTS FILM UK - BILL, HUGH J STEWART, CAL, KIM EDGAR, BOO HEWERDINE, KATHLEEN PROCTER - MOORE , MANY MORE TOO NUMEROUS TO LIST.

I hope to hit the shores of Bonny Scotland as well in 2009 and it will be a special Homecoming for me because many years ago my Grant Clan Ancestors left Scotland to brave the New World and helped to be founding members of the Hudson's Bay Company here in Canada, so it will hold special meaning for me as well.

We were also very honored to have an interview with Scottish Screenwriter Alan Sharp at our group as he answered questions about his Robert Burns Screenplay for a Burns film by Mob Films, I loved his film Rob Roy. We also worked very hard and had a wonderful Petition that we sent off to the Scottish Executive about funding for a Burns Film in hopes for 2009 and we had well over 600 names of support from all corners of the globe and many famous names appeared as well, we are very proud of that indeed.

We also with great pride had a Burns Poetry Contest with over 85 enteries from all around the world and were very fortunate to have Famous Burns Speaker David Sibbald act as a judge and post all of the enteries on his own Burns Web Page. The prizes also were donated by many Famous Scots such as DOUGIE MACLEAN, BAXTER'S JEWLERY and so many more.

Thank you everyone for being a part of the magic the is RT BURNS!!!! This group is made possible because of allof you and everything that you contribute in the name of Scotland and Robert Burns.

WE PROUDLY PULL TOGETHER AND STAND FIRM , STAND STRONG, TO STRIVE TO KEEP THE ROBERT BURNS FLAME BURNING BRIGHTLY, FOREVER BRILLIANT, FOREVER STRONG

WITH OUR ETERNAL ADMIRATION AND ABUNDANT PASSION WE UNITE AS A TEAM AND ALL WORK TOGETHER, JUST HOW CAN WE STUMBLE, JUST HOW CAN WE GO WRONG

FOR MANY GENERATIONS HIS WORDS AND THOUGHTS HAVE INSPIRED MANY OF US TO PEN TO MEMORY A VERSE OR TWO FROM HIS MANY LOVE SONGS

HIS HEARTFELT WORDS HAVE MADE MANY OF US PONDER, WHAT IS LOVE?, WHAT IS GREAT PASSION?

HIS MASTER OF THE WRITTEN WORD WILL LIVE ON FOREVER AND WILL NEVER BE DEEMED OUT OF DATE OR OUT OF FASHION

THIS DAPPER SCOTTISH LAD HAS UNITED US ALL, MADE US STAND TALL AS WE HEED THE CALL

THE SOUND OF BAGPIPES ECHOS ACROSS THE POND AS WE GEAR UP FOR HOMECOMING 2009 AND ONE HECK OF A GRAND SCOTTISH BALL

ONE YEAR AGO WE EMBARKED ON THIS WONDERUL BURNS ODESSEY WITH BRIGHT EYES. HIGH HOPES, AND WONDERFUL DREAMS

WE HAVE ENCOUNTERED, ALONG THE WAY

"RED,RED ROSES" AND WONDERFUL MOUNTAIN STREAMS

IT IS A GREAT HONOR TO HAVE WITH US AND JOIN OUR TEAM SOME WONDERFUL TALENTED HONORARY MEMBERS WHO HAVE ADDED SO MUCH PIZZAZZ AND COLORFUL THEMES

I WANT TO TAKE A WEE MOMENT TO THANK EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU WHO HELPED TO COMPLETE THE CIRCLE AND WHO WITHOUT EACH OF YOU WE WOULD NOT BE WHOLE

WE WILL MOVE FORWARD, CONTINUE TO SHARE, CONTINUE TO GROW AND 2009 WILL BE HERE BEFORE WE KNOW

WE WILL CONTINUE TO SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT SCOTLAND AND THEIR FAVORIATE BARD AND THE ETERNAL FLAME OF ROBERT BURNS WILL BURN FOREVER BRIGHTLY --------

THERE ONCE WAS A DREAM THAT WAS BURNS............IT SHALL BE REALIZE

This RT Burns Group is made possible because of each of you and all you give to the group, what a grand team we all make and we share openly and most of all share our great passion of Burns and all things Scotland. I am so proud to call ALL of you friend and it has been such a wonderful journey and the journey continues. We have showed that all things can be possible if we keep hoping and dreaming.

Thank you all

Hugs

Alexandria

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Thank You for the update on news about the Burns project. I always look for new information and keep hoping that news of making our dream of Gerard making the Film will soon become a probable instead of a possible. I know the film industry is all about the money anymore and the finances dont materialize unless it's a "Hot Topic" but I am sure that with Gerrys wonderful gift of acting talent and the life of a moving,romantic Scotsman as the role of a lifetime could add up to be quite an eye opener at the theatre. I thank all who are working to make Burns anniversary a wonderful time and to those who are anxiously awaiting the film too. Let's hope 2008 gives us what we are hoping for.

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A JOURNEY IS NOT A TRIP - IT IS A PROCESS, A DISCOVERY - RT BURNS

Hello all at RT BURNS!!!!!

I hope all is well and you are enjoying your weekend!!! What a wonderful group we have here and I wanted to take a wee moment to say thank you to all of you who make this group the wonderful place it is to visit and to share our love of Scotland and Robert Burns!!!

We have come indeed a long way in 1 year and there is so much more ahead and the excitment is building.

To me RT BURNS is A JOURNEY NOT A TRIP and it is truly A PROCESS AND A WONDERFUL JOURNEY OF DISCOVERY.

I have found that out myself and sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to see what is truly important in life and it is the friends who rally around you in the toughest times that make it all worthwhile!!!

Thank you all who have lifted me up when I fell and showed me what loyalty and true friendship is , it made a huge difference for Nicholas and I and we will be forever grateful, your true colors really shone through and beamed like rays of the sun!!!

Rt Burns has had some growing pains along the way but we have shone through it all and have come out of it the positive group we all are!!!

I have had some experiences along the way that have indeed made me a better person and have really see things for what they are, you see who your REAL FRIENDS are in times of turmoil and I want to thank you all who have shown me what TRUE FRIENDSHIP is and how we have come so far and through so much!!!

We share laughter, tears of sorrow and great joy but most of all we share a common love and passion for a wonderful man in history - ROBERT BURNS and for a wonderful country - SCOTLAND!!!

We do not try to out do each other here and out shine each other, we are FAMILY and we work as a TEAM to spread the word about ROBERT BURNS and a future Burns Film staring Gerard Butler.

Sometimes when you peel away layers in life like the layers of an onion you get to the inside where you see true happiness and what is important in life.

I want to thank each of you for what you bring to this group, we have no leaders here, we are a TEAM WITH A DREAM, A DREAM TO SEE ALL ENJOY THE WORK OF ROBERT BURNS AND A FILM MADE IN TIME FOR 2009 HOMECOMING!!!!

I am working hard behind the scenes with the Scottish Government and will continue to work hard to secure as many Scottish Connections as I can muster. This is a passion for me that will never burn out and you are all a grand part of it all!!!

Thank you all and enjoy your weekend!!!!

THERE ONCE WAS A DREAM THAT WAS BURNS AND IT SHALL BE REALIZED..........

Hugs

Alexandria

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I wanted to let everyone know that Peigi was the lucky winner of the the wonderful Robert Burns Collectible Mug Donated By Maggie at Mither Tongue, it was so beautiful it was hard to let it go. Congrats to Peigi!!!

Many thanks to all of you that have supported RT Burns and it is hard to believe it has been a year and I look forward to much more excitment yet to come.

Remember RT Burns is open to all and come give us a wee look.

Please check out the website of one of our Honorary Members THE TRYBE:

http://www.thetrybe.org/

We will be having a great question and answer on Rt Burns so if you have any questions please let myself or Rosemarie know. This interview was gratefully arranged by Rosemarie and The Trybe.

Here is a link to Team Burns, where we share, laughter, friendship and a common passion for Robert Burns:

http://uk.rottentomatoes.com/vine/journal_...nalid=100004715

Have a super weekend

Alexandria

Edited by LADY ALEXANDRIA

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As you all know I have a great passion for my Scottish Heritage, Robert Burns and of course for Gerard. I have been a huge fan since the very beginning and will always support anything Gerard does. I have a real flair for PR and will help to promote and spread the word about anything.

Here is something I thought you all would get a kick out of:

WHACK THE HAGGIS GAME - WEE BIT OF SCOTTISH FUN

http://www.aboutaberdeen.com/whackthehaggisgame.php

Whack the Haggis Game

Hit the bad haggis to score points in this fun Whack The Haggis Game from About Aberdeen and avoid hitting the good haggis during this pop up hunt and splat the haggis:

It is recommended that you have the latest versions of shockwave and flash so that you can enjoy the whack a haggis graphics. These can be downloaded for free at the

Shockwave Player Download Center website and at

Adobe Flash Player site.

About Aberdeen Haggis Game

Use the mouse of your computer to move and raise or lower the hammer to give the haggis a whack. Aim to hit the angry bad looking haggis who are coloured red. Hit this haggis and he will sound a haggis noise.

Try and avoid hitting the friendly tartan bonnet clad haggis or he will give a wee squeak and take a point off your score.

Variations of this haggis game include splat the haggis and haggis hunting game.

There is a mute button on the left of the game if you really do not like the bagpipe music (are you mad!!). This does turn off the haggis sound effects through.

Disclaimer - No haggis were harmed in the making of this game and will be released back into the wild after the haggis whacking season - just in time for the haggis hunting season

I thought this was fun

Hugs

Alexandria

ps.

DRESSED TO KILT HAS NOW BE POSTPONED UNTIL FALL, please check link below for full details:

http://www.dressedtokilt.com/

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I think you may enjoy to read this:

Bravehearts in Kilts Against Trouser Tyranny.. Why men should be free to wear kilts and other kilt-like clothing

Who Are the "Bravehearts"? .

We are an international band of men who enjoy the freedom, comfort, pleasure, and masculine appearance of kilts or other male unbifurcated (skirt-like) garments, and who reject the absurd notion that males must always be confined to trousers. We are men in kilts, Utilikilts, and other kilt-like clothing. Our purpose is to liberate men from the "tyranny of trousers" that has been imposed upon us by Western society. We encourage and promote the wearing, acceptance, and availability of kilts and other unbifurcated garments for men.

Unbifurcated garments - including kilts, robes, caftans, sarongs, tunics, and other skirt-like garments - are traditionally male clothing that have been worn by men throughout history. They have been worn by all the men in the Bible, by Roman gladiators, Vikings, and Scottish Highlanders. They are still worn frequently by men in Scotland, throughout Africa, the Middle East, parts of Asia, and the Pacific islands, to name just a few examples. Unbifurcated garments are far more comfortable and suitable to the male anatomy than trousers, because they don't confine the legs or cramp the male genitals the way that trousers do.

Although there was a relatively brief period in history when manhood was symbolized by the wearing of trousers, this is no longer the case. Today trousers have become unisex garments that women wear most of the time. In the United States, for example, a guy wearing blue jeans will find himself dressed the same as perhaps 90 per cent of the girls. If a man wishes to distinguish his masculinity through clothing, he would do much better by strapping on a real Scottish kilt.

Male unbifurcated garments (we'll call them MUG's for short) come in several forms. By far the most famous and well accepted is the kilt - especially the familiar Scottish variety, made of tartan wool and worn with knee sox and a pouch in front called a sporran. Men's kilts may also come in a variety of styles - solid colors, lighter weights, alternative fabrics - and may be worn with or without the traditional Scottish accoutrements. MUG's from other parts of the world include sarongs and caftans. MUG's may also include modern skirt-like garments specifically designed and intended for men. For example, men in Germany have the männerrock ("menskirt"). Men in the United States now have the Utilikilt, which combines the comfort and masculine appearance of a kilt with the convenience of cargo pants. We want to expand the variety and availability of such male clothing.

Please note that Bravehearts prefer attire that is entirely and unambiguously masculine. Ideally, it should be completely separate and distinct from skirts and other clothing worn by women. Being a Braveheart has nothing to do with cross-dressing, wearing women's clothes, or adopting "feminine" styles. While we respect those skirt-wearing men who seek to eliminate gender boundaries in clothing, that is not the Bravehearts' mission. Likewise, this has nothing to do with sexual orientation. You will find the same percentages of gays and straights among Bravehearts as you will in the general population. We simply want to reclaim a man's right to wear masculine, unbifurcated garments because they feel good on the legs and provide greater comfort for our male anatomy.

Because kilts and other MUG's have been relatively expensive and hard to find, some men have made their own or have hired seamstresses to sew them. Other men have found it easier or more economical to adapt masculine-looking women's skirts or kilted school uniforms for their own use. Ideally, we would prefer to avoid the "cross-dressing" issue altogether by never wearing any item of clothing that is specifically designed or intended for females. Furthermore, skirts styled for women may be ill suited for men in many respects. Fortunately, the Internet now provides many sources for men's kilts and less expensive kilt alternatives. (Many of these can be found on our Suppliers page.) We look forward to the day when reasonably priced MUG's are readily available, so that no man will have to depend on women's clothing for affordable unbifurcated garments. What Is Trouser Tyranny?

Imagine a society in which the people have been divided into two groups. Every day, the people in Group A are given freedom of choice in a particular matter of personal concern. Every day, the people in Group B are denied that choice. Individuals in Group B who attempt to exercise this choice are subjected to harassment, denied employment, and face various forms of social ostracism and persecution.

Would you consider this to be unfair discrimination? A denial of personal freedom? Whether you realize it or not, this situation actually exists today in the Americas, most of Europe, and throughout Western society.

Now imagine that the people in Group B are required every day to have their reproductive organs tightly restricted, confined, and subjected to constant binding and chafing (to the point that some individuals develop rashes, reduced reproductive capacity, or other ailments). Individuals in Group B who dare to cast off these shackles are punished with the same forms of persecution as described above.

Would such a practice be an intolerable denial of individual liberty? Well, the same kind of practice is now being enforced every day in the Americas, most of Europe, and throughout Western society.

Finally, imagine that the members of Group B have been brain-washed into believing that they enjoy, and are even proud of, their above-described physical confinement and lack of choice. Members of Group B are instilled with the belief that it would be shameful even to think about questioning their restrictions. Furthermore, they themselves enforce the restrictions by persecuting any Group B member who dares to violate them. Consequently, we see the eerie spectacle of an entire group of people who are totally conditioned and/or coerced into conformity.

Does this seem like something out of science fiction? Perhaps, but it is also a reality. "Group B" actually describes the condition of men in Western society today, and the way in which they are rigidly restricted to wearing trousers and denied the freedom to choose any alternative form of clothing.

Men live their entire lives under a tyranny of trousers. "Tyranny" has been defined as "an arbitrary and unrestrained exercise of power." As we shall see, the rule restricting men solely to trousers is indeed arbitrary - it has no logical or anatomical justification. (On the contrary, trousers are ill suited to the male genitalia.) Furthermore, the unrestrained power of this rule rigidly dictates not only what men wear but also what they think. For a man even to question the trouser rule is regarded by some people as shameful and perverse. Most men would not dare such a thing, for fear of raising doubts about their sexuality.

As the German poet Goethe said, "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

How Did We Get Stuck in Trousers?

What is so special about trousers that men have become shackled to them?

In terms of their design, trousers are considered "bifurcated" garments because they are divided into two sections, which cover each leg separately. The two sections meet at the crotch, where they are joined by a number of seams (usually an inseam from each trouser leg, plus seams from the front and back). All these seams and accompanying fabric converge at what is already the most crowded intersection in male anatomy. There - in the crotch - they confine, crowd, bind, chafe, and otherwise cut into the male genitalia. The trousers also chafe against the inner thighs and, depending on their tightness, restrict leg movement. In some cases, the confinement of trousers may cause a rash or even reduce a man's sperm count.

Trousers are a relatively recent development. In earlier times, men were accustomed to wearing unbifurcated clothing - such as robes, togas, tunics, sarongs, and various kilt-like or skirt-like garments. These unbifurcated garments were not divided between the legs, and therefore they did not confine or cut into the crotch and male genitals. Therefore, they afforded men more freedom and comfort.

Even today, there are many places in the world where men wear unbifurcated clothing. In parts of the Middle East, Africa, southeast Asia, and the Pacific islands it is common to see men in caftans, djellabahs, sarongs, lava-lavas, or other skirt-like garments. Scotland, of course, is famous for its men in kilts. The Greeks and Albanians have the fustanella. In the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, all the men wear a traditional knee-length robe called the gho.

Trousers do have certain practical advantages - especially when riding horseback, performing various physical activities, and in cold weather. Perhaps this is why trousers became standard male attire throughout Western society. In contrast, women were kept confined in long, cumbersome skirts and dresses until the early 20th century. The male/female distinction in clothing was reduced to a simple bifurcated/non-bifurcated dichotomy: trousers were exclusively male and skirts and dresses were exclusively female (although young boys wore skirts and dresses until the early 20th century). Men learned to define their masculinity based on the wearing of trousers. This became a badge of pride that distinguished them from women. They learned to regard anything skirt-like as being "feminine," and therefore forbidden. Consequently, trousers became compulsory for men - even in situations where they offered no advantage over the unbifurcated menswear of earlier times.

During the 20th century, women's fashion underwent a revolution. Women freed themselves from the confinement of the long, bulky skirts and dresses of yesteryear and switched to styles that gave more freedom and comfort. Next, women demanded - and won - the right to wear trousers. Women now have a wide variety of bifurcated and unbifurcated garments to chose from. Today in the United States, it is much more common to see women and girls wearing slacks or jeans than to see them in skirts and dresses. Nowadays, a man can no longer prove his masculinity by putting on a pair of jeans - because this is now standard female attire!

Now that women in Western society have won the right to wear whatever they want, what justification remains for a rule that arbitrarily restricts men to wearing trousers? Trousers no longer distinguish men from women. We don't routinely ride horseback any more. Because of central heating, homes and offices are no longer as cold and drafty as they once were. Most of today's work does not involve the kind of physical activity that requires trousers. Furthermore, trousers do not offer any intrinsic advantage to the male anatomy. On the contrary! As previously noted, trousers confine, irritate, and impinge on the male genitals. From an anatomical perspective, trousers would be much more appropriate for females!

The desire for less constricting trousers is reflected in the trend among young men and boys, which started in the 1990's, to wear oversized trousers and shorts, with sagging crotches. This style, which is reminiscent of the baggy pants worn by old-fashioned slap-stick comedians, has been criticized for its sloppy appearance. While its low crotch allows more room for a man's genitals, it still leaves an annoying convergence of seams rubbing between one's thighs. A man would be more comfortable - and look less sloppy - if the inseams were eliminated altogether.

Of course, trousers will always have their place. For certain activities and environments they are clearly more practical than unbifurcated garments. Some people - both male and female - may prefer to wear trousers all the time. Others may prefer to wear various unbifurcated clothing, depending on the circumstances and how they feel. Women now have a choice in this matter. The question is: WHY SHOULD MEN BE DENIED THIS CHOICE?

What justification is given by employers, school officials, and others who deny men and boys the right to wear unbifurcated clothing? Usually it is just a dogmatic attempt to enforce prevailing prejudices. They say that wearing alternatives to trousers is "not socially acceptable," that it would be "a distraction" or "disruptive," or that it might "offend" people or "cause a disturbance." The same kinds of rationalizations have been routinely used to defend racial segregation and other forms of discrimination. The same arguments were once used to bar women from wearing trousers - and were ultimately defeated.

Some people have tried to defend the trouser rule on religious grounds, as if trousers had been divinely ordained. They ignore the fact that priests and monks have been wearing unbifurcated robes and cassocks for centuries. They point to a passage in Deuteronomy that is sometimes interpreted as prohibiting cross-dressing. What they seem to forget is that trousers didn't even exist when the Bible was written. All the men in those days wore unbifurcated clothing. When have you ever seen a depiction of Moses or Jesus wearing trousers? If unbifurcated clothing was good enough for them, why not for us? (See Confronting Religions Objections.)

Why Men Fear Freedom

Anyone who doubts the masculinity of male unbifurcated garments must not have seen Mel Gibson in Braveheart or Liam Neeson in Rob Roy - two popular films in 1995 that gave a tremendous boost to men's kilt wearing. The Scottish kilt is perhaps the most macho kind of clothing around. It is a symbol of brave and independent masculinity. It was the garb of the fierce warriors of the Scottish Highlands. It's the traditional uniform of the valiant Highland regiments. And it's worn by some of the strongest athletes you'll ever see - guys who toss cabers (which resemble telephone poles) in the Scottish games. The real kilt is strictly a male garment - in contrast to unisex clothes like slacks and blue jeans that women wear most of the time.

However, it takes a brave man to wear a kilt, outside of Scotland or Scottish gatherings.

Why? Because, while women can wear almost anything they want nowadays, our society subjects men to a rigid stereotype that confines them to trousers. Few men have the courage to break out of this mold, for fear that their masculinity will be questioned.

This is only one example, but it is symbolic of a much larger problem. While women are finding more and more options, most men remain locked in straitjackets of conformity. Anything that threatens their fragile facade of masculinity scares them to death. And - what's even more curious - most men have convinced themselves that they're proud of this situation.

Have you ever wondered why men are so screwed up? Perhaps it's because manhood does not come automatically or easily. It is something that must be achieved.

Consider this: The first person with whom a baby boy learns to identify is his mother. Therefore, at the heart of every boy's personality, there is a feminine identity.

However, after a few years, the boy learns that society has other plans for him. Society needs men who are tough, aggressive, and fearless: men who can endure pain and obey orders without complaint; men who will do the dirty, dangerous jobs that must be done; men who will be ready to kill in battle, or to charge up a hill into withering machine-gun fire without regard to personal safety. Society puts little value on sissies, wimps, and momma's boys.

Therefore, the boy must be physically and psychologically torn away from his mother and all things feminine, in order to achieve a new, masculine identity. He must go through repeated ordeals to strengthen his body and desensitize his feelings. He must become mortally ashamed of anything soft or feminine within him. He must literally come to believe that he would rather die - actually die! (as in battle) - than to be considered unmasculine or like a woman.

Conformity to the masculine stereotype is ruthlessly enforced. Any boy who seems effeminate, wimpy, or different is unmercifully harassed by his peers. To one degree or another, boyhood consists of repeated fist-fights, bullying, exhibitions of physical prowess, as well as doing some incredibly stupid and dangerous things, in an attempt to prove one's masculinity.

As a result of this conditioning, "masculinity" has too often become nothing but cartoonish posturing - a superficial attempt to avoid any inference of "femininity." True masculinity can and should be more than that. It should be something positive. A man who is truly masculine should have enough self-confidence that he is not afraid to be a nonconformist.

In the movie Braveheart, the Scottish hero William Wallace died with the cry of "Freedom!" on his lips. But most men today are not really free - not even in an area as harmless as clothing. No matter how masculine trouser-wearing men may pretend to be, they are merely slaves to their own insecurity. They go about as prisoners of conformity, wearing trousers or blue jeans that are almost indistinguishable from those worn by the women and girls around them. They have failed to comprehend that trousers are no longer a symbol of manhood, but rather a unisex garment customarily worn by women.

Ironically, the men who cling to trousers are missing the opportunity to wear something really masculine, like a man's kilt. A man in a kilt is proud, independent, and courageous. He exudes confidence in his manhood and sexuality. He draws positive reactions from those around him (especially from the ladies).

Furthermore, men in trousers are denying themselves the exquisite comfort and pleasure afforded by kilts and other MUG's. Instead of plodding around with their legs confined and fabric bunched up in their crotches, they could be enjoying freedom and airiness around the legs and crotch, as well as the sensuous feeling of pleats swinging against their thighs.

Is it wrong for men to experience that kind of freedom, comfort, and pleasure?

Kilts for Men, Trousers for Women

there are many varieties of MUG's, the Scottish kilt is the kind most familiar to and accepted by the public (at least in Europe and North America). It is also the kind worn by the author of this website (who is an American male of partly Scottish descent), and about which he can speak from personal experience. Therefore, the following discussions will focus mainly on kilts as examples of male unbifurcated garments.

Kilts are skirt-like garments with the following basic features:

They wrap around the waist and thighs, with overlapping panels in the front.

The outer front panel of a man's kilt (called the apron) opens on the wearer's right side. Women's kilted skirts usually open on the left side. Although they are usually fastened with buckles, some varieties are not.

They are relatively short - usually coming to the kneecap or just above it. When you kneel in a kilt, the edge of it should not quite touch the ground. However, kilts have recently been designed in alternative styles that may be slightly longer or shorter.

They are pleated. A man's kilt has deep, overlapping knife-type pleats in the back. Therefore, the kilt hangs relatively straight, while having plenty of material to allow for freedom of movement. The front panels are not pleated.

The typical Scottish kilt is made of 8 or 9 yards of smooth, tightly woven wool with a tartan (plaid) design. Men having Scottish ancestry usually choose tartans for Scottish clans that are associated with their family names. There are also many non-clan tartans that can be worn by anyone - whether Scottish or not. Kilts may also be of solid colors - as frequently seen in Irish kilts.

In order to accommodate kilt-wearers in climes warmer than Scotland, men's kilts are sometimes made with lighter weight wool, less material, or alternative fabrics. Because they don't have pockets, men's kilts are usually worn with a pouch, called a sporran, hanging in front. Some men wear kilts with sporrans on the side or with alternative kinds of pouches. Some varieties of kilts have pockets. A new American variation called the Utilikilt (which the author also wears regularly) includes models that don't wrap around, but go on like trousers. They maintain the rugged, masculine spirit of the kilt, with the added convenience of cargo pockets and a front fly. (For casual wear, the author finds Utilikilts to be far more practical than regular kilts, and even more comfortable.)

Traditionally, the kilt is worn with woolen, knee-length sox (called hose), held up with special garters with colored tabs on the side. Lighter weight sox are available for warmer weather. For casual wear, some men go with ankle sox.

The question of what is worn under the kilt is a source of endless speculation and tiresome attempts at humor. Many traditional Scots will tell you, "Nothing is worn under the kilt; it is all in working order." However, a kilt-wearing man might not be so daring in the United States, where sexual paranoia is rampant. A safe bet would be to follow the practice of Scottish dancers and wear black cotton briefs. These are readily available in various styles in men's underwear departments.

Kilt-wearing men are almost unanimous in their praise of the kilt's comfort and practicality. Why, then, do most women say that they find trousers to be more comfortable than skirts? Why do women prefer to wear slacks or jeans whenever they can? While at first glance this phenomenon seems to contradict the inherent comfort of unbifurcated garments, upon closer examination it does not. It simply demonstrates how male kilt-wearing has distinct advantages over female skirt-wearing. For example:

Basic anatomy explains why trousers might be more comfortable on a woman than on a man. One of worst things about trousers is the way the fabric, seams, and zipper all converge at the crotch - the very place where men need the most room - resulting in varying degrees of confinement and friction. Men have learned to tolerate this as the price of wearing pants. However, after wearing a kilt regularly, a man becomes acutely aware of how annoying trousers really are. Women, because of their different anatomy, don't suffer the same constriction in the crotch that men do. In actuality, women are far more physically adapted to trousers than men are.

(If an alien unfamiliar with Western clothing styles were presented with a naked man and woman and asked to match them up with a skirt and trousers, it's easy to imagine that, based on anatomy, the man would get the skirt! Science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, living in Sri Lanka and wearing sarongs instead of trousers, declared that "Trousers are a Western absurdity." )

Consequently, it is perfectly sensible for men to adopt kilts (or variations such as the Utilikilt) as their customary attire and let women wear the trousers. We should not be cowed by fears that our masculinity will be called into question. We should not let ourselves remain prisoners of blind conformity. Kilts are not only more comfortable than trousers, they are also more masculine, better looking, and more natural for our male anatomy.

If we are proud of our maleness, we should treat our male organs with greater respect than by cramping them in trousers. If we are proud of our masculinity, we should not be afraid to wear something really macho, like a man's kilt or Utilikilt, rather than clinging to trousers like spineless wimps. If we pride ourselves in having a free country, then we should exercise our freedom by wearing kilts, Utilikilts, or other MUG's whenever and wherever we want.

Now Is the Time for Bravehearts!

Any man interested in wearing a kilt or other MUG as regular attire (that is, outside of Scottish events or other special occasions) may feel intimidated by the fact that all the other men he sees are wearing trousers. He may feel tempted to wait until men wearing kilts and MUG's become a more common sight. Well guess what? Every other man interested in kilts or MUG's is thinking exactly the same thing! If no man has the guts to take the lead, we'll be victims of Trouser Tyranny for the rest of our lives! If you ever want to enjoy the comfort, pleasure, and positive attention that comes from wearing a kilt (or other MUG), you are the one who has got to make it happen. And the time to do it is now!

The author of this website is an American male who has been wearing kilts since 1972. Back then, most people reacted to kilted men with surprise and even derision. One had to endure frequent stares, giggles, whistles, and sarcastic remarks. But over the years, things dramatically changed.

Celtic music and heritage gained new popularity. With this came the sight of more men in kilts playing bagpipes, participating in Scottish or Irish dancing, or throwing cabers at Scottish games. Increasing numbers of men began renting kilts for weddings and other formal occasions. At the same time, gender stereotypes gradually relaxed. Prominent male rock stars frequently appeared on stage wearing kilts, skirts, and even dresses. Guys donned skirts to play Ultimate Frisbee. Men's kilts and skirts became a part of punk and Goth fashion.

The year 1995 was a watershed year for kilt-wearing because of two major Hollywood movies, in which two of the biggest male stars gave kilts a heroic, macho image: Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson, and Braveheart, the story of Scottish freedom-fighter William Wallace, starring Mel Gibson. Braveheart was a box-office smash in the United States and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. In both films, you could always tell the "good guys," because they were the "real men" wearing kilts throughout. The bad guys were the foppish ones in breeches or trousers.

From then on, the public acceptance of Scottish kilts has been almost total, and often enthusiastic. Most people now recognize the manliness of the kilt, and fewer make the mistake of calling it a "skirt." Guys driving by in pick-up trucks - who had previously whistled or made sarcastic comments when seeing the author in a kilt - would now smile, give the thumbs up, and shout, "Braveheart!"

Wearing a kilt in public is not nearly as traumatic as you might imagine. On the contrary, you will be surprised at how much power and popularity a kilt can bring. Sure, your friends might rib you at first, but if you respond with good humor, the kilt will become a non-issue rather quickly. Maintaining a positive, self-confident attitude is the key.

You will probably encounter much less public reaction than you ever expected - and what reaction you do get will be overwhelmingly positive. Nowadays people love to see a man in a kilt. Women go wild. Strangers smile, compliment you on your kilt, strike up friendly conversations, ask what tartan you are wearing, talk about Scotland, tell about weddings they attended where all the men wore kilts, remark that they wish more men would wear them. (Be prepared, however, for the question about what's worn underneath, as well as inquiries about whether you play the bagpipes.)

While it helps to have some Scottish or Irish heritage to talk about, men without such ancestry have also enjoyed these positive reactions. A recent example is Samuel L. Jackson - the African-American action star - who took to wearing tartan kilts while promoting his film The 51st State (released in the United States as Formula 51), in which he plays a modern kilted character. Men who are afraid to wear kilts simply don't know what they are missing.

Even men who wear other MUG's, including masculine-looking skirts, have reported very little public reaction to their attire, although not nearly as many compliments or as much enthusiastic approval as men in kilts. An exciting new addition to the world of MUG's is the Utilikilt - an extremely macho pleated garment with belt loops and cargo pockets - that has been gaining popularity in Seattle and is now available over the Internet. The standard model has a front fly like trousers, while the "neo-traditional" model wraps around and has a front apron. (The author now has four standard-style Utilikilts - green camouflage, black denim, green khaki and navy blue - which he regularly wears as casual attire in place of his more traditional kilts.) Utilikilts have been featured on television programs in the United States and Britain, and they may well be the breakthrough that brings MUG's into the mainstream of men's fashion. Within the past few years, the selection and availability of practical, casual kilts for men has rapidly expanded.

Although you might not see any men in kilts or MUG's on the street where you live, there is a steadily growing number of Bravehearts - real, ordinary men, of all ages, all over the world - who make kilts or other MUG's a regular part of their everyday wardrobe. You can meet other Bravehearts on the Internet at message boards such as the Bravehearts' Kilt Forum. You will meet students, professional men, retired men, men with families, men who are single. You will meet men who wear kilts and MUG's only occasionally and those who wear them almost all the time, men who have worn kilts for many years and those who are just starting out on this new adventure of freedom.

Trouser Tyranny can be overcome. It just takes a little courage, self-confidence, the willingness to assert your individuality, and openness to a new dimension of comfort and enjoyment.

Are you man enough to join us?

Hugs

Alexandria

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Great post Alexandria. Tons of information...and I have always loved a man in a Kilt!

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Thank you!!! Yes for me too a man in a kilt and bagpipes does it for me all the time!!!

Here is some wonderful info as well from on of our members of RT Burns and their wonderful new CD:

Hi,

A CD of the music from the new Scottish musical Clarinda will be released soon, featuring all 17 songs from the show, written by Kevin Walsh and Mike Gibb and sung by the original cast who recently toured Scotland with the show.

Advance orders are now being taken for the CD at a special introductory price of £9.99 (US$18) plus £1.00 per order (US$3.00) postage.

If you would like to order copies of the CD, which will be sent to you on the day of release, then send a cheque made payable to Honest Toil Productions to 32 Woodhill Road, Aberdeen AB15 5JW. Overseas orders can be paid by PayPal through email address info@hamepages.com

For further information contact Mike Gibb on 01224 313113 or at info@hamepages.com

This is a must have for all!!!

Hugs

Alexandria

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A Wee Video Of Braveheart To Start Your Day - I love This Movie!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBXBtORI7pE

Sometimes watching a hero can give us a great start to the day and

really inspire us, I know this movie does just that for me

Hugs and enjoy!!! Gerard would have been smashing in this film!!!

Alexandria

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The History Of St. Patrick's Day!!!! - Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

by ALEXANDRIA

St Patrick is known as the of Ireland. True, he was not a born Irish.

But he has become an integral part of the Irish heritage, mostly through

his service across of the 5th century.

Patrick was born in the later half of the 4th century AD.

There are differing views about the exact year and place of his birth.

According to one school of opinion, he was born about 390 A.D.,

while the other school says it is about 373 AD. Again, his birth place

is said to be in either Scotland or Roman England.

His real name was probably Maewyn Succat.

Though Patricius was his Romanicized name,

he was later came to be familiar as Patrick.

Patrick was the son of Calpurnius, a Roman-British army officer.

He was growing up as naturally as other kids in Britain. However, one day

a band of pirates landed in south Wales and kidnapped this boy

along with many others. Then they sold him into slavery in Ireland.

The was there for 6 years, mostly imprisoned.

This was when changes came to him. He dreamed of having seen God.

Legend says, he was then dictated by God to escape with a ship.

Finally, he did escape and went to Britain. And then to France.

There he joined a monastery and studied under St. Germain,

the bishop of Auxerre. He spent around 12 years in training.

And when he became a bishop he dreamed that the Irish were calling him

back to Ireland to tell them about God.

The Confessio, Patrick's autobiography, is the most important

document regarding this. It tells of a dream after his return to Britain,

in which one Victoricus delivered him a letter headed "The Voice of the Irish."

So he set out for Ireland with the Pope's blessings. There he converted

the Gaelic Irish, who were then mostly Pagans, to . He was

confident in the Lord, he journeyed far and wide, baptizing and confirming

with untiring zeal. And, in a diplomatic fashion he brought gifts to

a kinglet here and a lawgiver there,but accepted none from any.

Indeed, Patrick was quite successful at winning converts.

Through active preaching, he made important converts even

among the royal families. And this fact upset the Celtic Druids.

Patrick was arrested several times,but escaped each time.

For 20 years he had traveled throughout Ireland,

establishing monasteries across the country.

He also set up schools and churches

which would aid him in his conversion.

He developed a native clergy,

fostered the growth of monasticism,

established dioceses, and held church councils.

Patrick's doctrine is considered orthodox

and has been interpreted as anti-Pelagian.

Although he is not particularly noted as a man of learning,

a few of his writings remain extant:

his Confession, a reply to his detractors, and several letters.

The Lorica ("Breastplate"), a famous attributed to Patrick,

may date to a later period.

By the end of the 7th century Patrick had become a legendary figure,

and the legends have continued to grow since then.

There are many legends associated with St Patrick.

It is said that he used the three-leafed shamrock

to explain the concept of the Trinity;

which refers to the combination of

Father, Son, and the .

Hence its strong association with his day and name.

Legend also has that,

Saint Patrick had put the curse of God on venomous snakes in Ireland.

And he drove all the snakes into the sea where they drowned.

True, these are mostly legends. But, after some 1500 years,

these legends have been inseparably combined with the facts.

And together they have helped us know

much about the Saint and the spirit behind celebration of the day.

Patrick's mission in Ireland lasted for over 20 years.

He died on March 17, AD 461.

That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since.

The day's spirit is to celebrate the universal baptization of Ireland.

Though originally a Catholic holy day,

St. Patrick's Day has evolved into more of a secular holiday.

Or, rather, 'be an Irish Day '.

And the Irish has borne it as part of their national tradition in

everywhere they populated and prospered.

The Catholic feast day for this most loved of Irish saints has become a holiday in celebration of the Irish and Irish culture. The leprechaun, a Celtic fairy, has become entrenched as a chief symbol for this holiday, as is the shamrock, an ancient symbol for the triple goddess Brigit. It is fitting that this holiday should fall at the time of the year when the return of spring begins to seem at hand.

Legends about Patrick:

Many of the stories about Patrick are based only on legends.

One of the best known tales tells how he charmed the snakes of Ireland into the sea so that they drowned. Different tales tell of his standing upon a hill, and using a wooden staff, drove the serpents into the sea, banishing them forever from the shores of Ireland. One legend says that one old snake resisted, but the saint overcame it by cunning. He is said to have made a box and invited the reptile to enter. The snake insisted the box was too small and the discussion became very heated. Finally the snake entered the box to prove he was right, whereupon St Patrick slammed the lid and cast the box into the sea. While it is true there are no snakes in Ireland, chances are that there never have been snakes since the time the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the ice age. As in many old pagan religions serpent symbols were common, and possibly even worshipped. Driving the snakes from Ireland was most likely symbolic of putting an end to that pagan practice.

According to another tale, Patrick used a three-leaf shamrock to illustrate the idea of the Trinity. Many people believe the shamrock came to be the traditional symbol of Ireland as a result of this legend. Today, his feast day, March 17th is celebrated as a national holiday in Ireland.

St. Patrick also introduced the Roman alphabet and Latin literature into Ireland. After his death, about 461AD, Irish monasteries flourished as centers of learning.

Compton's Encyclopedia adds that despite a constant threat to his life, Patrick traveled widely, baptizing, confirming, preaching and building churches and monasteries. Patrick succeeded in converting almost the entire population of the island. His "Epistola" pleads the case of the Christian Irish at the hands of their British conquerors. Patrick's writings have come to be appreciated for their simplicity and humility.

The Shamrock

The shamrock (at one called the "Searoy" is a type of small herb with leaves made up of three leaflets, and is the common name for any of several three-leafed clovers native to Ireland. The Irish have considered shamrocks as good luck symbols since earliest times, and today many people of other nationalities have adopted that belief. It has become the national symbol of Ireland, because of the legend that St. Patrick used it to illustrate the doctrine of the Trinity.

Preaching in the open air on the doctrine of the trinity, he is said to have illustrated the existence of the Three in One by plucking a shamrock from the grass growing at his feet and showing it to his congregation. It symbolizes the cross and blessed trinity.

The legend of the shamrock is also connected with that of the banishment of the serpent tribe from Ireland by a tradition that snakes are never seen on trefoil and that it is a remedy against the stings of snakes and scorpions. The trefoil in Arabia is called shamrakh and was sacred in Iran as an emblem of the Persian triads. The trefoil, as noted above, being a sacred plant among the Druids, and three being a mystical number in the Celtic religion as well as all others, it is probable that St. Patrick must have been aware of the significance of his illustration.

The Leprechaun

The Leprechaun is an Irish fairy. He looks like a small, old man (about 2 feet tall), often dressed like a shoemaker,with a cocked hat and a leather apron. According to legend, leprechauns are aloof, unfriendly, live alone, and pass their time making shoes. They also possess a hidden pot of gold. Treasure hunters can often track down a leprechaun by the sound of his shoemaker's hammer. If caught, he can be forced (with the threat of bodily violence) to reveal the location of his treasure, but the captor must keep their eyes on him every second. If the captor's eyes leave the leprechaun (and he often tricks them into looking away), he vanishes and all hopes of finding the treasure are lost. Legend has it that you can find the leprechaun and his pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Celebrating in Ireland

In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is both a national and religious holiday. Stores and offices are closed, but restaurants remain open. Many people attend church and offer special prayers. The holiday falls during Lent, a period when eating meat is forbidden, but the ban is lifted on St. Patrick's Day and families enjoy special meals with traditional Irish food.

Since 1995 the Irish government sanctioned festivals and other events on St. Patrick's Day as a way to increase tourism and show off Ireland to the rest of the world. The official St. Patrick's Festival site has live video footage of the festival from Dublin Castle, as well as a complete guide to the events, parades, and fairs occurring in and around Dublin over the four-day celebration. The highlight will be a fireworks display on Saturday March 16, which typically attracts 500,000 people to Dublin city center.

A traditional blessing:

For each petal on the shamrock

This brings a wish your way

Good health, good luck, and happiness

For today and every day.

1. Find a four-leaf clover: The Druids believed that a four-leaf clover could help in spotting witches or other demons. Some modern-day spiritualists claim that a four-leaf clover releases energy and helps one's judgment. Yet others feel that finding a four-leaf clover brings good fortune, not just on St. Patrick's Day.

Normally, the clover plant produces the familiar "segmented" leaf with three parts. However, botanists believe that if a young clover leaf is damaged or exposed to certain chemicals, then it produces a four-leaf clover.

To understand more about mutations, look at these Biology Explorer Molecular Biology activities: Natural Mutations explores how a "mispairing" in the gene sequence causes mutations in offspring. Chemical Mutagens shows that chemicals can introduce mutations into DNA.

2. Wear green: This color represents Ireland (the "Emerald Isle"), the shamrock, and spring. It is as closely associated with St. Patrick's Day as red is with Valentine's Day. Many schoolchildren and others — Irish or not — wear green on St. Patrick's Day.

3. Kiss the Blarney Stone: This famous stone is set in one of the walls in the tower of the Blarney Castle. It's thought that an old woman cast a spell on the stone as a reward to the king for saving someone from drowning. Under the spell, the king spoke eloquently. According to legend, kissing the Blarney Stone brings the kisser "persuasive eloquence" ("blarney").

Because of the stone's location, it's no easy feat to kiss it. One must bend over backwards and hold onto a metal bar.

A Wee Bit about Leprechauns

Fairies fill Irish folklore. These make-believe creatures can assume various human or animal forms. They love music and may even lead humans astray with their pipe playing and singing. Irish fairies fall into two main groups: sociable and solitary. Perhaps the best known of the solitary fairies are the leprechauns. Leprechauns have the distinction of being the most solitary of the solitaries, avoiding contact with humans, other fairies, and even other leprechauns! These two-foot tall, unfriendly, gruff men (there are no female leprechauns) prefer to pass their time making shoes for other fairies. They usually wear a green coat, a green hat, and a shoemaker's apron.

HAPPY ST PATRICK'S DAY ALL!!!!

Lady Alexandria

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