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Burns Supper

On the 25th of January every year, the Scottish celebrate the memory of their greatest poet, Robert 'Rabbie' Burns. This is traditionally done through a 'Burns Supper'. I forgot all about it this year but I'll definitely get to one next year (should have just enough time!!).

I present The Scotsmans' idiot's guide to the Burns Supper (23/01/06, pgs 36-37):

Remember that a Burns supper should be primarily about celebrating the life and legacy of the Bard of Ayrshire - but it should also be about fun. There is nothing mandatory about the following elements; you may wish to include all or some. Perhaps the best guide is to ask yourself: "would Burns have enjoyed it?"

1 The chairman welcomes the assembled guests (often played in by a piper or other traditional musicians). [Ed: Can be substituted with a CD of decent bagpipe music!]

2The Selkirk Grace [Ed: Thats a poem of Rabbie's to be read ... read with enthusiasm! Anything in italics is the name of a poem to be read aloud]

3The first course (cock-a-leekie soup, traditionally).

4The piping in of the haggis. [Ed: Kind of like a procession. Bagpipes can of course be replaced by a CD or somesuch]

5The Address to a Haggis, introducing the main couse of - yes - haggis, usually with "champit neeps an' tatties" (vegetarian haggises are now commonly available). [Ed: neeps - mashed turnip. tatties - mashed potato. If you cannae stomach the haggis, what are you doing celebrating Burns night anyway?]

6Following the sweet - usually sherry trifle, cranachan or another traditional Scots dish - and coffee, can come all or some of the following [poems]: the core Immortal Memory, and its appreciation; the Toast to the Lassies and its Reply, any other toasts, speeches, recitations of Burns's (or other Scots poets') poetry and Burns's songs or other traditional music.

7 End with a vote of thanks and Auld Lang Syne.

Useful books include the Collins Burns Supper Companion by Nancy Marshall, now sadly out of print, but if you can't find one second-hand you can try these websites for some tips: http://www.worldburnsclub.com and http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/history/burnsnight/suppers.

A lot of places here in Edinburgh advertise having a Ceileidh (pronounced kay-lay) as well as the Burns night. Its a big folk dancing thing.

Oh and apparently 26th of January is Australia Day? Is it already that time again? Scots seem to celebrate it more than the aussies do over here anyway.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 25th, 2006 05:05 am (UTC)
sounds like those scots drink to celebrate practically anything. how nice
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Steve P

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