25th January – Burns Night
Have you ever attended a Burns supper?
Robert Burns wrote the poem ‘Address to a Haggis’ which is what linked Burns and the haggis together forever – and Robert Burns became celebrated as the national poet of Scotland.
Burns suppers typically include haggis, Scotch whisky and the recitation of Burns poetry. They generally begin with the Selkirk Grace – so called because Burns was said to have delivered it at a dinner given by the Earl of Selkirk:
Some hae meat an canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
After soup, everyone stands as the haggis is piped in, then comes the recital of Burns’ poem ‘the Address to a Haggis’. After a whisky toast to the haggis, the meal is served with tatties (potatoes) and neeps (swedes), followed by more toasts, speeches, songs and dancing, and concluding with Auld Lang Syne.
So why don’t we have a Shakespeare supper – to celebrate our great English poet?
Perhaps we should celebrate all our British poets along with Robert Burns on Burns Night. Drink a toast to them and eat tatties and neeps with our meat. Recite our favourite poems – and share the beauty of their words with our feast.