Burns’ Night is celebrated annually on 25 January to commemorate the life of the Scottish poet Robert Burns whose hundreds of writings include the world-famous Auld Lang Syne.
The first Burns’ Night is said to have occurred back in July 1801 when Burns’ friends gathered together to mark the fifth anniversary of his death. They ate haggis and performed his work. The night was a great success and his friends decided to keep up the traditional yearly, to celebrate his birth. From this, the Burns’ Night we celebrate today was born.
Burns’ Night is full of traditions that have been carried on for years. Events follow a similar structure involving food, toasts and readings.
To start, the Selkirk Grace is said.
“Some hae meat an’ canna eat,
An’ some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, an’ we can eat,
An’ sae let the Lord be thankit”.
Haggis, “neeps and tatties” and a dram of whisky are then traditionally served.
The Haggis will be piped in as the host (or allocated guest) performs Burns’ Address to a Haggis.
Address to a Haggis
Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.
Address to a Haggis Translation
Good luck to you and your honest, plump face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Stomach, tripe, or intestines:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.
The legacy of Robert Burns is incredibly impressive reaching far and wide across the globe and into the consciousness of some of the world’s most well-known people.
Recipes to celebrate Burns’ Night
The evening ends by singing Auld Lang Syne, crossing arms and joining hands.
I look after communications and marketing at Dairy Diary. I’m a busy mum and love home baking and cooking for my family. In my spare time I enjoy visiting the theatre, eating out with friends and exploring the great outdoors!