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What is Burns Night?

Burns Night is when whisky is poured, haggis is eaten and Burns’ poetry is recited!

ve02yewfruqdjy3xvo9s.jpgBurns Night party © VisitScotland

The first Burns supper was held in July 1801 when nine of Burns’ close friends got together to mark the fifth anniversary of their friend’s death. Taking place at Burns Cottage in Alloway, the night included a tasty meal (haggis, of course!), performances of Burns’ work and a speech in honour of the great Bard (now known as the Immortal Memory). The night was such a resounding success they decided to hold it again beginning the tradition still enjoyed to this day.

To start – everyone gathers, the host says a few words, everyone sits and the Selkirk Grace is said.

The meal – the starter is served, the haggis is piped in, the host performs Address to a Haggis, everyone toasts the haggis and the main meal is served, followed by dessert.

After the meal – the first Burns recital is performed, the Immortal Memory (the main tribute speech to Burns) is given, the second Burns recital is performed, and then there’s a Toast to the Lassies, followed by a Reply to the Toast to the Lassies, before the final Burns recital is performed.

To end the night – the host gives a vote of thanks, everyone stands and sings Auld Lang Syne, crossing their arms and joining hands at the line ‘And there's a hand, my trusty fere!’.

(Courtesy of VisitScotland.) 

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