Brig o' Balgownie
Cruden Bay Painting
Make Up Lesson
Places To Visit With Children
Places To StayGhost Hunting
Scottish Tourist Attractions
Automatically add us to Your Favourites Folder - Bookmark us.
Hot Air Ballooning over the Castles.
Go Ghost Hunting in Aberdeenshire
Play our new game - Whack The Haggis!!
Burns Night Supper
Celebration meal to Robert Burns of haggis, neeps and tatties and whisky with the popular songs and poems read and sung and the traditions surrounding
Burns Night with information about the various speeches like the Immortal Memory and the Toast To The Lassies:
Each 25th of January, Scots around the World, will celebrate the immortal memory of the birth of famous Scottish poet Robert Burns. This Burns Night Supper article
will discuss the origins of the celebrations and the format of a typical Burns Night.
The Origins of Celebrating Burns Night
In 1796 on the 21st July the Scottish bard, Robert Burns, died and his friends organised a supper in 1802 so that they could gather, read out his poems, sing his songs,
have a meal of haggis and drink to his memory. This was the first Burns Night though the origins of celebrating Burns Night started a year before:
Entry for Aberdeen Race For Life is now open.
In 1801 on the anniversary of Robert Burns birthday on the 25th January a number of non commissioned officers and privates of the Argyll Militia who were
at Ayr went to the Cottage at Alloway where Robert Burns was born. The band of the regiment went with the men and played several airs of Burns. The Cottage was then
being used as an Inn (The King's Arms) so a bit of drinking took place. Other sources state that this was a party of nine men who met at the invitation
of the Reverend Hamilton Paul. He organised the meeting on behalf of the Provost of Ayr, John Ballantyne, and the lawyer, Robert Aiken, who were friends of Burns.
Broons Burns Night Book
The Broons Burns Night book is now available to buy having been published by Waverley Books with extra pages from the original that was given away with the Sunday Post. It includes how The Broons celebrate Burns Night, what foods they eat, their recipes and various Burns poems. The Broons Burns Night book includes special poems such as Granpaw's Toast To The Lassies, The Immortal Memory by Horace Broon and a Toast To Absent Friends by Hen Broon.
First Burns Supper
Also in 1801 the first Burns Club was set up in Greenock and they set up the first Burns supper with friends of Burns in Ayr. They met in Alloway in 1802
to have a supper of sheep's head and haggis and to fondly remember their friends by reading his poetry and singing his songs. This first Burns Club is known as The Mother
The second Burns Club was formed in Paisley in 1805. The secretary was Robert Tannahill the town's weaver poet. It is known as the Daughter Club.
Since then it has been the tradition to celebrate Burns night with a ceremony meal of haggis, neeps and tatties, to read the poems of Robert Burns and to
sing his songs and to drink a toast of whisky to the memory of Robert Burns on his birthday, the 25 January.
For the first ten years of Burns Night suppers the event was held on the 29 January because it was thought that this was the birthday of Robert Burns. This was due to an
error by his first biographer, James Currie, who incorrectly wrote his birth date as the 29th. During this decade there was also Burns Nights held in the summer
months but these were short lived because farmers were too busy in the summer months and eventually the true birth date of the 25th was marked as the right date to celebrate Burns Night.
If you like this page and would like to easily share it with your friends and family please use the social networking buttons below:
Fit Likey us on Facebook!
What Is A Burns Supper
The Burns Supper can be a formal or informal occasion and is a celebration of Robert Burns, a chance to enjoy his works and eat and drink some fine Scottish food and
drink. A more formal Burns Supper will follow the format below:
Piping In The Guests
Guests are piped into the Burns supper ceremony by a Pipe Major and the top table guests are the last to be seated. More formal Burns Suppers may see their guests to
their tables and have a piped procession just for the top table guests. As they enter the room the other guests will stand in their honour and clap.
The main speaker for the evening will usually be seated to the
right of the Chairman. Other top table guests will include the Minister who is giving the prayer, any members of the Burns Federation, any civic representative and the
spouses or partners of the guests. The piper stops playing and a round of applause if given
to the bagpipe player.
Burns Night Speeches
The speaker or chairman of the event gives a small welcome speech. Sometimes a prayer is given and at most Burns suppers the
Selkirk Grace is recited in the Scots dialect. Other Burns Night speeches are more in the form of toasts:
It is a great honour to be asked to propose the Immortal Memory speech and toast. There are examples of Immortal Memory toasts but generally it is a small talk
about the importance of Robert Burns to Scotland and how honoured Scots are to be able to read his works. The Immortal Memory should truly inspire each guest to want
to continue reading the works of Robert Burns when they get home, long after the honour to his memory has been said.
The Immortal Memory may be preceded or announced by a fiddler playing some of the works of Robert Burns. This lively music can set up the Immortal Memory
speaker nicely. His speech should be about 20 - 35 minutes long. As an example of an Immortal Memory speech the speaker may start by reciting a few sentences of a Burns
poem and then give a talk about what the Bard meant when he wrote those words and then give its relevance to today's society and the modern society. During this
speech the speaker may talk about aspects and achievements of Burns like being a preserver of the Scot's language and bring his discussion to what Burns would have
made of life today.
Later in the evening a member of the Committee or the Chairman should honour the Immortal Memory speaker with an appreciation of the speech given.
Toast To The Lassies
A toast to the ladies is made, in recognition of Burns' love for the lassies! It is called the toast to the lassies and is sometimes spelt toast to the lasses.
His poem To The Lassies is a popular recital and some jokes should be made. This speech and toast
should be light hearted and humorous, as an example the speaker can point out the shortcomings of women and the ways Burns pointed these out. The speaker should always
make sure to end by being complimentary to the lassies though. After this the speaker raises his
glass, the men in the room stand, and the speaker says "Tae The Lassies!" and another dram of whisky is drunk.
The Toast To The Laddies
The women have an opportunity to reply to the toast of the lassies which is humorously called
the Toast Tae The Laddies! In this funny toast they give a funny view on men talking about their various shortcomings.
Each of these speeches should not take longer than 10 minutes. More formal Burns Night suppers may toast The Queen.
Burns Night Menu
Most Burns Suppers will consist of a large haggis being piped into the room by a Pipe Major. The guests will usually stand during the piping of the haggis.
The haggis is carried on a gleaming silver tray usually by the VIP guest or the chef. If carried by the guest then the chef will walk behind the piper. Behind the chef will
follow the person reciting the address to the haggis and the whisky bearer who tops up the guests whisky glasses for the haggis toast and offers a dram to the chef
and the piper.
Toast To The Haggis
The Chairman will then invite the chef, the piper or fiddler and the gathering to toast the haggis with a dram of whisky. The most popular toast to the haggis
is "Slainte mhath" the Gaelic toast which is pronounced as slan je va and translates to English as Good Health.
During the procession to the
top table the guests will clap in time to the bagpipe music. A man's a man for aw that is the most popular bagpipe tune to pipe in the haggis. The haggis, or
beastie as it is often nicknamed, is placed at
the top table. The piper will then stop playing the bagpipes and the clapping stops. The haggis is then cut open by the speaker who will recite some
of Robert Burns' poems, usually Address To A Haggis which extols the virtue of haggis over
other dishes. This moment of the Burns Supper is sometimes nicknamed the slaying of the haggis.
There are several key words which signify when the speaker should cut into the haggis. So when he recites
His knife see rustic Labour dicht the haggis cutting knife is raised. As the words An' cut you up wi' ready slicht the knife is lowered in a fast
dramatic action and the haggis is cut open. Some chefs will make a small cut at the top of the haggis to expel the trapped air to make cutting the haggis safer, rather than
have hot haggis splatter over the top table guests. The haggis is then toasted, a dram of whisky being the favoured tipple. Some pour a nip of whisky over the
haggis. The supper is eaten after
the Selkirk Grace.
Haggis Neeps and Tatties
The haggis is served with neeps and tatties (turnip or swede and potatoes known by Scottish people as chappit or champit tatties and bashit or bashed neeps)
and some chefs combine the ingredients with chives to make the delicious dish of Clapshot.
Vegetarian haggis is often available nowadays and larger Burns Night suppers may also serve a fish dish like salmon or steak pie made by the local butcher.
Toasts are said before, during and after the meal. The
accompanying drink is usually a dram (or three!) of whisky. The Burns night supper menu is traditionally called The Bill of Fare in honour of this phrase being
in the poem To A Haggis.
A Scotch Broth Soup (also called Barley Broth) or
Cock a Leekie Soup
may be served as a starter and
Clootie Dumpling pudding served as a dessert. Other puddings
served on a Burns Night Bill of Fare include
Cranachan with Raspberries or Sherry Trifle. Other names for Sherry Trifle include
Tyspy Laird and Scotch Trifle.
The more formal Burns Suppers may round off the meal with bannocks and oatcakes and a selection of cheeses which may include a Scottish cream cheese called Crowdie
and the local cheese of Ayrshire that Burns would have enjoyed, the Dunlop Cheese. Coffee and tea are then served.
Entertainment At A Burns Night
After the supper, or between courses, speakers may entertain with musings and anecdotes
of Burns or more recitings of his work, songs and poems. Musicians and singers will sing and perform the songs of Robert Burns such as
My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose. Tam O'Shanter is a common poem to recite on Burns night, as are The Cotter's Saturday Night and Holy Willie's Prayer.
A popular work to recite is The Immortal Memory that pays tribute to the talent of Robert Burns.
The evening is usually rounded off with a ceilidh, the finish of this is cued with a rendition
of Auld Lang Syne.
Dress Code For Burns Night Supper
A more formal Burns Night supper ceremony may require a black tie dress code of dinner jacket and bow tie or a kilt or Highland dress for the men and evening dress for the ladies.
Less formal Burns Night suppers, perhaps those held in a local community centre or pub may allow the gents to wear a suit or sports jacket and tie with smart trousers whilst
women can wear smart clothing of skirts and trousers and blouses or other tops. At the least it is expected that every guest will wear an article of tartan clothing such
as a tartan tie, tartan skirt, tartan trousers or even tartan socks or tartan tights. The dress code for the Burns Night supper should be stated
on the invitation or ticket.
Perhaps the most exclusive Burns supper takes place at the Bachelor's Club in Tarbolton when the fiddle that William Greig,who taught Robert Burns to dance, is brought down from Culzean Castle and played to a select group. Aboutaberdeen hopes to get an invite one year!
Read about Robert Burns.
Aberdeenshire Burns Night Events.
More Scottish customs and traditions.
Below are details of bagpipers who may be available to perform on Burns Night along with their contact details:
The easier way to find a piper for hire for your Burns Night supper is to visit the site www.wedding-pipers.com/hire-pipers/burns-night/ which lists pipers who are available to perform on Burns night.
Burns Supper Mount Kilimanjaro
Burns Supper Mount Kilimanjaro took place in January 2011 where Scots which included radio presenter and comic Fred MacAulay and
Andrew Fairlie the Michelin star chef at
cooked and ate a Burns Supper at the summit. Hospitality Industry Trust Scotland organised this historic event to celebrate the birthday of Robert Burns. The Burns Supper
Mount Kilimanjaro included the address to the haggis with a whisky toast and a piper.
Andrew Fairlie had to adjust his cooking times of the haggis to the environment and the 19,000ft summit. For example the boiling point of water at that altitude and
height of Mount Kilmanjaro is 78 degrees Celsius so the haggis, provided by Simon Howie butcher, had to be cooked longer, as had the neeps and tatties. The Burns Supper Mount
Kilimanjaro hopes to raise thousands of pounds for the HIT Scotland and Diabetes UK charites.