What’s A Burns Supper?
What’s A Burns Supper?
A Burns Supper is a traditional Scottish event held annually to commemorate the life and poetry of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national bard. The supper typically takes place on or around January 25th, the poet’s birthday, and features a variety of rituals, speeches, and culinary delights. Here’s what you might expect to find at a Burns Supper:
Address to the Haggis
The evening often begins with the “Address to the Haggis,” a recitation of Burns’ poem celebrating Scotland’s iconic dish. A piper usually leads the procession, carrying the haggis—a savoury pudding made from sheep’s offal, suet, and oatmeal—into the room.
The Selkirk Grace
Before the meal is served, the “Selkirk Grace,” another of Burns’ poems, is recited. This brief prayer of thanks is traditionally attributed to Burns’ visit to the town of Selkirk.
The main course of a Burns Supper typically includes the aforementioned haggis, served with neeps (mashed turnips) and tatties (mashed potatoes). Other traditional Scottish dishes, such as cock-a-leekie soup, Scotch broth, or cranachan (a dessert made with raspberries, whipped cream, oatmeal, and whisky), may also be served.
Haggis and Scottish Delights can be sourced from the following butcher in Melbourne https://scottishfood.com.au/
Toast to the Lassies
This is a lighthearted speech given by a male speaker, reflecting on the qualities, quirks, and contributions of women, often drawing humour from gender differences and relationships.
Reply from the Lassies
In response to the Toast to the Lassies, a female speaker delivers a witty retort, offering insights into the male perspective and playfully challenging the points made in the initial toast.
Songs and Recitations
Throughout the evening, guests may enjoy performances of Burns’ songs and poems, either as formal recitations or communal sing-alongs. Popular choices include “Auld Lang Syne,” “Tam o’ Shanter,” “To a Mouse,” and “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.”
Check out our 12 days of burns for poems and songs on our social media pages.
No Burns Supper would be complete without a dram or two of Scotch whisky. Toasts are made to the memory of Robert Burns and the immortal bard’s contributions to literature and culture, often accompanied by a sip of whisky.
Check out our Celebrate Whiskies with Roberts Burns blog
Camaraderie and Celebration
Above all, a Burns Supper is a celebration of friendship, culture, and the enduring legacy of Robert Burns. The evening is filled with laughter, storytelling, and a sense of kinship, as guests come together to honour Scotland’s beloved poet.
A Burns Supper is a festive and convivial occasion that pays homage to Robert Burns through a blend of culinary delights, traditional rituals, and heartfelt tributes. It encapsulates the spirit of Scottish hospitality and the enduring appeal of Burns’ poetry and songs.
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