Gung Haggis Fat Choy is back this year on February 19th, celebrating the deliciously fun mashup of the Scottish Robbie Burns Day with Chinese New Year cultures and traditions.
Gung Haggis Fat Choy 2023
- When: Sunday, February 19, 2023 reception 11:30am
- Where: Floata Seafood Restaurant (180 Keefer St, Vancouver)
- Tickets: Available now
Menu highlights previous years have included deep-fried haggis wonton and haggis pork dumpling (su-mei) along with appetizer courses. “Neeps” served Chinese style in the form of pan-fried turnip cake, dim sum style, and traditional haggis served with Chinese lettuce wrap. Toss in poetry, music, and sing-along tunes and you’ve got yourself a party!
Founded by Todd Wong (aka Toddish McWong) in 1998, it started out as a small fundraiser with 16 guests in a crowded living room. 25 years later, the dinner takes place at one of the largest Chinese restaurants in North America, and has spun off into a CBC television performance special and the SFU Gung Haggis Fat Choy Canadian Games.
The event is known worldwide for its unique fusion of food and cultures. It’s been covered by Smithsonian Magazine, BBC World News, the Burns Birthplace Museum, and more.
It started with an accident of timing, writes Sarah Hampson for The Globe and Mail. Or more accurately, it started in 1993, five years before the first “Gung Haggis Fat Choy” dinner was held, when Wong was a student at Simon Fraser University. He agreed to help out with that year’s Robert Burns dinner, telling Hampson, “I thought it was this weird ethnic tradition.”
Wong wore a kilt and carried traditional Scottish accessories. “There was a lonely piper. And the haggis tasted really weird,” he told Hampson. “So I decided I would have some fun with it. I called myself Toddish McWong and thought it would make a good statement about multiculturalism.”
The name stuck, and Wong, or McWong, a fifth-generation Canadian of Chinese heritage, saw an opportunity in 1998, when Robert Burns’s birthday was only two days away from Chinese New Year. Wong told Hampson that he went to the library and researched Robert Burns dinners, and invited friends of Scottish and Chinese descent.Smithsonian Magazine
Watch the virtual 2022 event here, and stay tuned for updates on ticket purchases through the Gung Haggis Twitter and Facebook accounts.