The Burns night tradition

Burns Night marks the anniversary of the birth of the poet Roberts Burns, one of the most famous and celebrated Scots. Born on 25th January 1759, Burns wrote many poems, lyrics and other pieces that addressed political and civil issues. Arguably, his most famous work is ‘Auld Lang Syne’, which is sung at New Year’s Eve celebrations in Scotland, other parts of the United Kingdom and  around the world. The occasion is often marked  by going to a Burns supper. The first of these was held in 1801 by nine of Robert Burns’ close friends and has remained an important tradition for Scots 260  years later.

Traditionally, the evening consists of a Burns Night meal, which includes haggis, neeps and tatties – accompanied with whisky, of course! A recital of a few of Burns’ poems and songs then follows, tributes are made, and the night typically ends with everyone singing Auld Lang Syne. The star of the evening, haggis, enters the room on a large platter to the sound of a bagpipes. When the haggis is on the table, the host reads the ‘Address to a Haggis,’ written by Burns to celebrate his appreciation of the dish. At the end of the reading, the haggis is ceremonially sliced into two pieces and the meal begins.

The BlytheRay team have mixed feelings on haggis, but the majority seem to like it:

Sarah, Tim and Maddy said they love haggis. Sarah, Tim and  their friends and family enjoy a Burns Night dinner every year.

Naomi tried it before she became vegetarian and found it fine but nothing special. She is not interested in trying it again!

Said had vegetarian haggis last year, and said he really enjoyed it, but with the added disclaimer that the person cooking it has never made him a bad meal.

Alastair said he enjoys his Haggis, and Matt has tried it once and liked it. Matt is going to try to persuade his family to have a Burns Night meal this year!

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