Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
- To a mouse, one of the most famous poems studied in Primary school. Nostalgic, but also a dreaded time of reciting in front of the entire class with a bright red face and a shield upon the face in the form of the paper it was printed on.
As an adult, it’s mostly about the whisky and the haggis… and the whisky.
Burn’s Night is celebrated on or around the 25th January and during this time, people from all over Scotland come together to celebrate the birthday of the bard – Scotland’s National Poet.
The night begins with the host saying a few words, all guests sit and then the Selkirk Grace is recited. After the starter is served (usually a Scottish soup such as cullen skink or broth), everyone stands as the haggis is piped in. The host will recite Address to a Haggis and a whisky toast follows shortly after. Guests then tuck into haggis, neeps (swede) and tatties (potatoes) for the main. Dessert and coffee typically follow with traditional Scottish food offered such as cranachan and oatcakes with cheese. Various speeches are given, with a special thanks to the “lassies” and a reply to the “laddies”. The evening draws to an end with all guests joining hands and singing Auld Lang Syne.
If the Burns Supper is a formal invitation, guests are expected to dress in traditional Scottish wear or evening wear – such as a kilt or a dinner suit. Click here to check out our range.
Hosting your own Burn’s Night doesn’t need to be quite as formal and we don’t all have a personal piper to hand, however its great fun to add in some traditional touches to the evening.
Whisky tasting – Providing a selection of whisky for your guests to sample not only encourages them to experience new flavours, but provides them with a drink to toast the haggis.
Music – Modern technology has provided us with easy access to a large range of traditional Scottish music. Simply make a playlist beforehand of popular songs and melodies.
Burn’s Quiz – Test your guest’s knowledge on Scotland’s most famous poet with some entertainment after the meal.
Tartan – Tartan is traditionally worn when celebrating Rabbie Burns, however if you’re not inclined to don a full kilt for dinner, then adding a tie or accessories creates an extra touch to your outfit.
Whatever the evenings holds, whether it be a huge banquet festivity or a small family meal, we hope you have a fantastic time and Remember Tam o’ Shanter’s mare. Tell us all about your Burns night festivities on Twitter or Instagram.