What Is Burns Night?
Five years after the Scottish poet, Robert Burns died, a group of his friends got together to remember him and his poetry. The tradition became established and now, every year on his birthday, 25th January, Scots all round the world celebrate Burns Night with a Burns Supper which follows a format similar to the original dinner (often with much toasting and drinking of whisky!)
Format for A Burns Supper
At a grand dinner, guests are piped in (by bagpipes) to take their places at the dining table. The guests are welcomed by the host, who declares the celebrations open. The Selkirk Grace is read, and supper begins with a soup course (often the Scottish favourite Cock-A-Leekie soup). Now the haggis is piped in from the kitchen while the guests stand and clap the haggis in. The host or an invited guest reads Burn's famous poem, Address To A Haggis, cutting open the haggis with a large knife when they reach the line "an cut you up wi' ready slight"! The haggis is eaten with mashed tatties and neeps. Then there will be dessert and oatcakes and cheese.
After dinner there will be a toast to the Queen, and one of the guests will give a short speech about Burns called "The Immortal Memory". A man makes a "Toast to the Lassies" and a lady makes a toast in reply. Guests will take turns reading Burns poems, singing Burns songs and possibly doing some Highland dancing! The party will close with everyone singing Auld Lang Syne.
Ideas For Your Family Burns Night
Why not include the kids in your Burns Night celebrations, or hold a family Burns Supper?