Fri 26th January: Rabbie Burns China Night in Penallt

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Following this year’s successful Burns Night and Dylan Thomas event at Pelham Hall the Art in Penallt team have planned another celebratory dinner, including haggis of course, as part of a diverse Chinese menu, this time drawing on Burns’ massive and lasting popularity in China.

In 1801, five years after Burns’ death, a group of friends decided to honour the memory of Robert Burns by hosting a dinner in the humble room where he was born. Art in Penallt are continuing this tradition.

What few people in Britain know is that the anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns has become a gala event in the People’s Republic of China where about 100 of his poems have been translated into the Chinese language, and every Chinese poet knows his work, while a few translated verses are taught to all Chinese students. Today, “Auld Lang Syne” is sung at Chinese, Japanese and Russian weddings.

The Chinese people consider the north-eastern provinces of China as the Highlands. During World War II, the Chinese Highlands were occupied by the Japanese. Burns’ poem, “My Heart’s in the Highlands,” was used as a symbol of resistance by the Chinese against the Japanese troops.

Euan Mitchell, managing director of Isle of Arran Distillers said anyone can host a Burns supper. He said: “Burns night is a key event in the Scottish calendar and the perfect time for a celebration to beat the January blues. Each year there seem to be more people embracing the unique mix of Scottish and oriental food and culture.”

It doesn’t matter how many guests turn up for this event, the key is to embrace the evening’s quirkiness. Including songs and readings and possibly some dancing as well. Scottish dress is optional but welcomed.

The dinner will be held in the spacious Pelham Hall now graced with a new commercial styled kitchen. There is plenty of parking space and wheelchair access is not a problem.

Places are limited so order your tickets (£15 per head) via a simple online form here.