Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)

Haggis below

Robert Burns is the National Bard (Poet) of Scotland. Scotland's favourite son and champion of the common people. Although not a national holiday, Burns Night (celebrated on his birthday, Jan. 25th) is a major event in Scottish communities throughout the world.

A typical Burns Night includes:
  • Chairman's Opening Address
  • Burns's Selkirk Grace :
    "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.
    "
  • The company are asked to stand to receive the haggis. A piper then leads the chef, carrying the haggis to the top table, while the guests accompany them with a slow handclap.
  • A reading of Burns' famous poem Address or Ode "To A Haggis" which describes the dish as that "Great chieftain O' the puddin'-race."

  • Toast and haggis is cut open with a sharp knife.
  • Bill o' Fare:
    • Cock a leekie soup (chicken soup with leeks)
    • Haggis (see below) warm reeking.
    • Champit Tatties-an'-Neeps (mashed potatoes and turnips with onion gravy)
    • Tyspy Laird (Sherry Trifle - sponge cake, rasberry jam), Dunlop Cheese.
    • A Tassie o' Coffee
  • The Immortal Memory - One of the central features of the evening, an invited guest is asked to give a short speech on Burns.
  • Toast to the Lasses - The main speech is followed by a more light-hearted addres to the women in the audience. Originally this was a thank you to the ladies for preparing the food and a time to toast the "lasses" in Burns' life. The tone should be witty, but never offensive, and should always end on a conciliatory note.
  • Poems and Songs
    See Best-loved works at the BBC.
  • The evening will culminate with the company standing, linking hands and singing "Auld Lang Syne" to conclude the programme.

Source: A Traditional Burns Supper at the Ulster Connection.

Haggis
1 sheep's pluck (stomach)
heart, lung and liver of sheep
salt, hot pepper, nutmeg, onions
beef suet
oatmeal, toasted
pint beef stock

Boil liver and parboil the onion, then mince them together.
Lightly brown the oatmeal. Mix and put in pluck.
Place haggis in boiling water and boil slowly for 4-5 hours.

See Also:

Burns Night at the BBC
Robbie Burns Day
Robert Burns - National Bard of Scotland
Poems and Songs of Robert Burns
Grace Before and After Meals - A Poet's Grace and The Selkirk Grace
Celebrations:
The American-Scottish Foundation - Scotland House, 575 Madison Ave (between 56/57), Suite 800 NYC Tel - (212) 605 0338

Royal Scottish Country Dance Society - NY Branch (212-849-8282) celebrates Burns Night with an Address to the Haggis and Dancing at Holy Cross School 332 West 43rd St., NY, NY

Argyle Fish & Chip Restaurant, 212 Kearny Ave, Kearny NJ (201) 991-3900
Around Burns Night, haggis is piped in twice nightly (6:30 & 8 PM) for a fortnight to an overflowing crowd. Every Friday a piper parades between the tables.
(When the 25th is in the middle of the week they will have a Burns night Fri-Sun the weekend before and on the 25th.)

NJ's First Brewpub | The Ship Inn - 908 995-0188
61 Bridge St., Milford, NJ
Robert Burns 2012 | The Ship Inn 7PM Jan 25

Clan Currie Burns Night gala, (908) 273-3509, on Saturday at the Grand Summit Hotel, Summit, NJ $100

Edinburgh Castle Pub - Sat. Jan 24, 2004 8pm, $10
950 Geary St, SF - 415.885.4074

The Scottish Society Of Central California sponsors a Robert Burns Supper in Freseno.

Gold Country Celtic Society Robert Burns Dinner & Concert at the Miners Foundry, 325 Spring St., Nevada City. 530-265-0576


last updated 6 Jan 2007