Annually on the 25th January Scots all over the world come together and pay tribute to the life and work of our national poet, Robert Burns. We call this celebration a ‘Burns Supper.’
Robert Burns is an iconic Scottish figure and one of the countries most well known poets. He led what would seem like a short life (37 years old) although back in the 1700’s this was not unusual as the average age of life expectancy at that time was 36. He gained a great reputation not just in his homeland but all over the world too. Auld Lang Syne, for example is an international anthem and is the perfect song to take in the New Year; representing friendship and reunion.
A Burns Supper can follow many different forms depending on the celebration your attending. We’ll give you an idea of what happens. To mark the beginning of the celebration the bagpipes are played as someone carries the haggis into the supper. Following the pipes ‘The Selkirk Grace’ is usually said:
“Some hae meat and canna eat,
and some wad eat that want it,
but we hae meat and we can eat,
and sae the Lord be thankit.
Followed by the ‘Address To A Haggis’ in which the haggis is cut open.
“…his knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Traditionally those having a burns supper will enjoy a meal of haggis, neeps and tatties (Haggis, Turnip and Potatoes). Following the meal there will be toasts, usually with a local whisky or your tipple of choice. The evening will continue with singing the songs and reading the poetry Burns wrote as well as listening to traditional ceilidh music and dancing. The night will most likely come to a close with everyone joining hands and signing Auld Lang Syne.
Inspiring and Celebrating
Long after his death he continues to inspire future generations. Burns clubs have been founded worldwide and his works of song and poetry are taught and rehearsed internationally too. If you were to go back to his birthplace in Alloway his cottage is now a public museum. In Dumfries there is the Burns House and the Robert Burns Centre which exhibit much of his work. There are over 30 memorials dedicated to Scotland’s national poet and he is an iconic face of Scottish history.
If you’re looking for something to do this weekend to celebrate the works of Rabbie Burns here’s our pick of what to attend.
24-26th January 2014: Across Dumfries
Big Burns Supper: Let’s Paint The Town Tartan, 3 days of music, comedy, theatre, dancing and a lot more!!!!
24-26th January 2014: Edinburgh
Burns Night Big Scottish Ceilidh at the Ghillie Dhu, Edinburgh.
25th January: Glasgow
International Burns Concert at the Hydro, Glasgow
Please check all events own websites for further details and costs.
Both planning and attending events is something all of us on the team love to do. If you’re looking to organise your own event whether it’s a Burns Supper or something else, then we can certainly help you.