To a haggis: The guide to the Ultimate Burns Night Supper. The 25th of January, Burns Night
  • Each year, on the anniversary of Robert Burns’ birth, 25th of January, people all over the world celebrate the life
  • of one of Scotland’s greatest heroes. The Supper can trace its roots back to 1801, 5 years after his death where
  • in Burns Cottage friends gathered to celebrate the works of their friend Robert Burns
  • Bill O' Fare
  • Cock-a-Leekie Soup
  • Haggis with neeps and tatties
  • Typsy Laird
  • Coffee, Cheese and biscuits
  • The Order of Ceremony
  • Selkirk Grace
  • Starter
  • Address to the Haggis
  • Main Course
  • The Immortal Memory
  • Pudding
  • Toast to the Lassies
  • Lassies Reply
  • Auld Lang Syne
  • The Selkirk Grace
  • As the guests arrive it is customary for the host to make a short welcoming speech
  • Following this, the starter is served and a spokesperson will recite “The 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.”
  • Address to the Haggis
  • Custom dictates that the haggis is delivered on a silver platter in a procession of the chef, the piper
  • and he who will address the haggis. The guest delegated to address the haggis should then recite:
  • "FAIR fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
  • Great Chieftan o’ the Puddin-race!
  • Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
  • Painch, tripe, or thairm:
  • Weel are ye wordy of a grace
  • As lang’s my arm.
  • His knife see Rustic-labour dight,
  • An’ cut you up wi’ ready slight, (slice the Haggis)
  • Trenching your gushing entrails bright
  • Like onie ditch;
  • And then, O what a glorious sight,
  • Warm-reekin, rich!
  • Ye Pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
  • And dish them out their bill o’ fare,
  • Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
  • That jaups in luggies;
  • But, if you wish her gratefu’ pray’r,
  • Gie her a Haggis!"
  • Prompted by the speaker, the guests now raise their glasses of whisky and toast ‘The Haggis’
  • The main meal is now served.
  • The Immortal Memory
  • The host traditionally delivers the immortal Memory address. This is the more formal part of the evening
  • where time is taken to reflect on the life and works of Rabbie Burns. It could be a more general overview
  • of his life or it may address a specific poem or song, which is relevant to the party guests.
  • The address should not be so long as to send them to sleep, but it should be long enough to remind guests
  • that there is a genuine and serious reason for the gathering. The speech always ends with a toast to the
  • immortal memory of the Bard of Ayr.
  • The Toast to the Lassies
  • This is a humorous highlight of any Burns night and made by a male guest after the pudding is served.
  • Originally designed to thank the ladies for preparing the food and to toast the lassies in Burns’ life (and he had a few).
  • Today’s audiences will expect to hear a witty speech about the fairer sex, with a few nudges and sly digs about their habits
  • and idiosyncrasies. The toast should be light hearted and inoffensive.
  • The toast concludes by raising a glass ‘To the Lassies’
  • The Lassies’ Reply
  • The ladies have the right to reply to the men’s toast!
  • As difficult as it may be, the lady speaker must begin by thanking the toastmaster for his kind words.
  • This is, however, shortly followed by the opportunity to upstage the men, pointing out their imperfections
  • in a humorous manner.
  • The toast concludes by raising a glass ‘To the men’
  • The traditional finale of the evening is to have a hearty rendition of Auld Lang Syne.
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