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Burns Night – A Scottish Tradition

20 January 2021

Burns night is the celebration of the life of Scottish author Robert Burns. Scots, and those around the globe, hold annual celebrations on the anniversary of his birth – 25th January.

Traditionally, those wishing to rejoice would gather with their friends and family and either host a burns supper or go to a local pub or restaurant to celebrate. Whilst we are unable to do that this year, it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate with those in our households, in our support bubble or even on our own.

The supper usually (dependent on individual taste) consists of the following:

  • To start – All gather together, a speech will be made (usually by the host) and the “Selkirk Grace” is said
  • The Meal – This usually consists of some Scottish classics such as, smoked fish soup, haggis, neeps and tatties (turnips and potatoes), finished with clootie pudding and washed down with a wee dram of whisky. An “Address to a Haggis” poem is usually recited.
  • After the meal – more poems usually follow the meal, these include “The Immortal Memory” and “Toast to the Lassies”
  • To end the night – The evening usually culminates in all guests standing, linking hands and singing Auld Lang Syne.

We are giving you a taste of some of the greats of Scottish food and drink this burns night, and even better… we’ll deliver straight to your door!

We wish you a happy burns night, and we hope you will join us in raising a glass to Robert Burns.

Slàinte Mhath and Oidhche Bhlas Burns *

*Cheers and Happy Burns Night


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.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis