Jan 25

Burns Night & Chinese New Year (Jan 25, 2020)

Red Red Rose
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Gung Haggis Fat Choy!

This tartan was designed in celebration of Chinese New Year and Burns Night, simultaneously occurring on the 25th of January 2020. Chinese New Year is the most important and widely celebrated festival in the Chinese calendar, whilst Robert Burns Night commemorates Scotland’s renowned poet. Festivities take place across the globe to mark both occasions. The Burns Check, named after Scotland’s National Bard, is woven in a new red colourway - a symbolic colour representing joy and happiness in Chinese culture. The Red Red Rose tartan brings both together to celebrate the historical moment when these two events coincide, which will not occur again until the year 2096.

Happy Chinese New Year and Burns Night on their happy coincidence on the year 2020!

The combination of Chinese New Year celebrations and Burns Night suppers, humorously named "Gung Haggis Fat Choy" has become a popular event in many places.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy is an annual cultural event originating from VancouverBritish ColumbiaCanada. The name Gung Haggis Fat Choy is a combination wordplay on Scottish and Chinese words: haggis is a traditional Scottish food and Gung Hay Fat Choy is a traditional Cantonese greeting used during Chinese New Year.

 

The event originated to mark the timely coincidence of the Scottish cultural celebration of Robert Burns Day (January 25) with the Chinese New Year, but has come to represent a celebration of combining cultures in untraditional ways. In Vancouver, the event is characterized by music, poetry, and other performances around the city, culminating in a large banquet and party.

Gung Haggis Fat Choy was created in 1993 when a Simon Fraser University student Todd Wong was asked to help out with the University's annual Robbie Burns celebrations. Wong, a 5th generation Canadian, quickly learned about Scottish-Canadian culture with its traditions of men wearing kilts, carrying swords, playing bagpipes and eating exotic foods. In 1993, the Chinese Lunar New Year fell on January 27, only two days away from Robbie Burns Day, which is always January 25 in celebration of the Scottish Bard's birthday. "Gung Haggis Fat Choy!" said Wong, "I can celebrate two cultures at the same time." And thus was born the persona of "Toddish McWong" with his growing appreciation of Scottish Canadian history and culture.

In 1998, Wong hosted the first Gung Haggis Fat Choy Robbie Burns Chinese New Year Dinner as a private dinner party for 16 friends. In 1999, the first public Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner was created as a fundraiser for the dragon boat team. Forty people attended.

The Royal BC Museum recognized Gung Haggis Fat Choy in 2008, as part of the Free Spirit  exhibit celebrating the province's 150 years of history.  Gung Haggis Fat Choy has since spread to Scotland and throughout the Chinese community. 

Register notes:  Designed in celebration of Chinese New Year and Burns Night both on the 25th of January 2020. Chinese New Year is the most important and widely celebrated festival in the Chinese calendar, whilst Robert Burns Night commemorates Scotland’s renowned poet. Festivities take place across the globe to mark both these occasions. The Burns Check, named after Scotland’s National Bard, is woven in a new red colourway - a symbolic colour representing joy and happiness in Chinese culture. The Red Red Rose tartan brings both together to celebrate the historical moment when these two events coincide, the next occasion being the year 2096.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Wishing you and auld lang syne prosperity for the new year!

For an essay on Burns' readers in China, click the collage of Edinburgh's advertisements for this special event!

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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