Scotland celebrates the life of the National Bard, Robert Burns, every 25 January with Burns Night, an entertaining evening of fantastic food, delectable drams, dancing and rousing verse.
Held on the anniversary of Burns’ birth, the celebrations were originally started by some of his close friends a few years after his death and now Burns Night is celebrated across the world each year. Burns’ life and works are commemorated with songs, recitals and tributes and a hearty feast, including haggis, is enjoyed at a traditional Burns Supper.
You can join in with the festivities at many restaurants across Scotland that host formal Burns Night dinners or you could even organise your own Burns celebrations. Take a look at our hints and tips to help you create a memorable Burns Supper which includes a running order that details the essential elements and readings needed for a traditional celebration.
You can even download the complete works of Robert Burns for free to your iPhone for an easy way to pick your readings. The iPhone app has a database of every Burns poem and includes helpful tips for hosting a brilliant Burns Supper.
Essential Burns Supper ingredients
- Haggis - vegetarian varieties are also readily available
- Mashed neeps and tatties (turnips/swedes and potatoes)
- Scotch whisky
- Traditional Scottish music:
- A piper (if you are lucky enough to know one)
- A CD of Scottish music, traditional or contemporary
- Copies of Burns’ work to recite on the evening, such as:
- Address to a Haggis
- Selkirk Grace
- Immortal Memory
- Speakers/entertainers- a Master of Ceremonies for the evening and three or four willing friends!
- Tartan - kilts, table cloths, napkins, hats, brooches - as much or as little as you like.
A different take on haggis
The popular dish should not just be confined to Burns Night or alongside neeps and tatties. A new recipe book by Jo Macsween, from the acclaimed Edinburgh haggis-making family, features 50 mouth-watering haggis dishes with a twist. The Macsween Haggis Bible includes everything from haggis nachos and special canapés, to lasagne and much more.
Find more information about The Macsween Haggis Bible on the Macsween website.