Scottish poet Robert Burns.
NEXT Tuesday (January 26) is Burns Night, a night when the poetry and legacy of Scottish bard Rabbie Burns is normally celebrated across north Antrim in many gatherings of people.
Unfortunately, things are not normal and as with so much else, COVID 19 has meant that these events in schools, restaurants and community facilities will not be taking place.
However a number of ZOOM events are taking place, including a talk by Dr Frank Ferguson of Ulster University, with a council organised storytelling and music event also planned – see details further down.
But first we asked Ballymoney's main man when it comes to 'Addressing the Haggis', Mr Alan Wright to share his feelings on this strange year for everyone.
Alan said: “It's a time of the year I really look forward to, over a two week period I might have six or eight events where I address the haggis.
"Sometimes there might be three in a day with a primary school in the morning, the FUSE Ulster-Scots centre event in the afternoon and something else in the evening.
“It's strange this year with the pandemic and I will miss the intermingling with people, the chatting, music, dance and recitals, but unfortunately that is is how it is for everyone.
“We have to all knuckle down now but God willing with the vaccine, we will get up and running again next year."
Despite the pandemic, Alan is doing a programme for FUSE FM that will be broadcast several times next week as well as a Zoom event for CAN on Seymour Street.
Dr Frank Ferguson of Ulster University will be giving a lecture on 'The Ulster-Scots Burn’s Night Tradition' on Monday January 25 at 7.30pm, delivered online through Zoom.This event is 'Pay What You Can' organised by Riverside Theatre,
Commenting, the organisers say: “Please give what you feel would be an appropriate price for this show. We recommend £5 per ticket.
“Robert Burns was many things in his lifetime and today is viewed as one of the few poets who can be said to enjoy a global reputation. He is also one of the few poets who have their birthday celebrated each year across the world.“In this talk Dr Frank Ferguson will explore the history of Rabbie Burns and his special night. He will also pay particular attention to the reception and celebration of Burns in Ulster and the affection which Burns is held in this part of the world.“Join us for a lively night of poetry and stories about Scotland's greatest literary export and learn how to hold your own Burn's night celebration.
“Feel free to have your own haggis, neeps and tatties at hand, and of course a dram of your choosing to toast Scotland's Bard.”For more information please email email@example.com
POETRY and MUSIC
The following evening, (Tuesday January 26) at 7pm Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council (CC&G) Good Relations Team will host an evening of discussion, storytelling, poetry and music with David Hume, Liz Weir and An Corraiste.
The evening is part of Council's Hear Here programme and will be held online via Zoom. To register contact bebhinn.mckinley@causeway
This event is supported by The Executive Office through the District Council Good Relations Programme as part of the Together: Building a United Community, and CC&G.