Friday, 25 January 2013

Burns Night.

Image found on Google

The 25th of January marks the birthday of Robert Burns, 1759-1796.  The night on which many celebrate the life and works of Scotland’s greatest poet,. This celebration is called a `Burns Supper` and can vary in grandeur from a modest family evening to a truly grand affair for civil dignities and opulent corporate clients with full and fitting ceremonial formalities, dress and lavish luxury i.e. Whisky !

Most of course are somewhere in-between, thus here I show an example, of the type you may find in a medium sized hotel or club.

The itinerary or order of ceremony would be as follows

The host may introduce and welcome people, as they gather and mingle, drink Whisky and chat normally to each other.

Meal and Welcome Grace

The party are called to the table; the Host says the opening grace, by tradition The Selkirk Grace. And the soup course is served.

Some have meat and canna eat,
And some would eat that want it;
But we have meat, and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be thankit

Parade of the Haggis

Image found on Google
This is the height of the evening (and my favourite bit). The Chef enters the dining room carrying the haggis, followed by the Piper, usually playing Brose and Butter. The Chef presents the Haggis to the Chairman (or Host) at the top table.


Address to a Haggis

A Senior Reciter reads the poem, Address to a Haggis   over the haggis.

Fair fa` your honest sonsie face,
Great chieftain o` the pudding-race!
Aboon them a` yet tak your place,
Painch tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o`a grace,
As long`s my arm.
Image found on Google
A good Whisky is offered to the Piper, Chef and Reciter and then ceremoniously  the Haggis is cut open, traditionally with a Scottish `Dirk` although any sharp knife will do. The  

Haggis is served with nips and tatties (Mashed swede and mashed potatoes) much Whisky and Ale is drunk.


After the meal a brief interval allows the table to be cleared or people may move into another room.
Where no doubt more Whisky and Ale will be drunk.

Song, Toasts, Readings, Music & Dance
Should still consist of

The Immortal Memory

A long speech given by the Host ending in a toast to “The immortal memory of the Bard of Ayr” ~ (Robert Burns)

Toast to the Lassies (Young Ladies)
Reply from the Lassies

Tam o` Shanter

It would not be a burns night without a recitation of the great narrative poem.
First verse only below

When chapman billies leave the street,
And drouthy neibors, neibors, meet;
As market days are wearing late,
And folk begin to tak the gate,
While we sit bousing at the nappy,
An' getting fou and unco happy,
We think na on the lang Scots miles,
The mosses, waters, slaps and stiles,
That lie between us and our hame,
Where sits our sulky, sullen dame,
Gathering her brows like gathering storm,
Nursing her wrath to keep it warm.

Finally (If you`re still standing after all that Whisky)

Closing Remarks from The Chairman
Who should thank the guests etc. And in return one of whom will return the thanks and offer a toast to the Host, Chairman, Chef and Piper.

Auld Lang Syne
The traditional end to any Burns Night

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Needless to say bar for the copyright law ALL POEMS ARE BY ROBERT BURNS

For more info go to

Tomorrow I hope to post pictures, words and recipes of my Burns Supper


  1. Our butcher makes Haggis but I've never had the guts to try it. The Whisky and Ale part sounds good, though! ;o)

    1. I like haggis every now and again, but I also prefer the Whisky part.



Got my appointment for a Gastroscopy at LGI Friday 4.00pm Chris is away, so cannot have a general. Can`t eat/drink from 8.00 am. Ha...