First up was Chinese New Year on the 23rd January which called for a Chinese lunch and fortune cookies in the Red PR office.

Chinese New Year celebrates Chinese cultural heritage, showcasing their traditions with cultural dances, festivities, singing and spectacular parades.

Following on from Chinese New Year I celebrated Burns Night on the 25th January.

As a Scot, Burns Night is an occasion especially close to my heart, celebrating the life and poetry of Robert Burns, one of Scotland’s most acclaimed poets. This celebration is a major event in the Scottish calendar.

This year I was especially excited to celebrate as my friend chose to host a Burns Supper in honour of his Aussie friends who had never experienced the event. To give guests a real taste of Scots culture I bought tartan sashes and shortbread, while my friend wore a kilt like a true Scotsman.

Sticking to true Burns Night tradition the host began the night by welcoming everyone to into his home and, once everyone was seated, said The Selkirk Grace.

The Selkirk Grace

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae let the Lord be thankit.

From there, the haggis was brought to the table. All guests stood up as the Burns Supper’s essential ingredient was presented and the head of the table recited famous Burns poem, Address to a Haggis.

Typically the host reads the poem, however this year his friend requested the honour. The friend was so intrigued about the Scottish tradition that he had completely memorized the two page poem, even managing to adopt a Scots accent, which was fantastic!

Following the recital, the table toasted absent friends and family with a wee dram of whisky before tucking into a meal of haggis, neeps (turnip) and tatties (potato). Delicious!

The event culminated in traditional Scottish music and my favourite Scottish song of all time, Caledonia, which always reminds me of home.

The next day marked an important date in the Aussie calendar, Australia Day on the 26th January. As a public holiday, the Red PR girls marked the event in numerous ways, some hosting BBQ’s and floating on inflatable Havaianas thongs on Bondi, others watching the Australian Open and celebrating with friends and family.

As my Aussie friends embraced my Scottish roots, I too joined in their festivities, appreciating this great place I now call home.

What I loved about this week’s celebrations were that they gave me the chance to gain more understanding of Australian culture and Chinese traditions, while teaching others a little bit about where I’m from.

The world’s a big place, with thousands of different customs and celebrations, so why not embrace as many as possible – you might just enjoy them!

15 Years of Fame