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Beat the January blues… A good excuse for a dinner party!

“When Scotland forgets Burns, then history will forget Scotland”
J S Blackie

What Is Burns Night?

Five years after Robert Burns died, a group of his friends got together to remember him and his poetry. The tradition became established and now, every year on his birthday, 25th January, Scots all round the world celebrate Burns Night with a Burns Supper, which follows a format similar to the original dinner (often with much toasting and drinking of whisky!). MOLLY MAID, the professional domestic cleaning company, are delighted to walk you through the steps required for a successful and memorable Burns Night.

Format for a Burns Supper

At a grand dinner, guests are piped in by bagpipes to take their places at the dining table. The guests are welcomed by the host, who declares the celebrations open. The Selkirk Grace is read, and supper begins with a soup course (often the Scottish favourite Cock-A-Leekie soup). Now the haggis, a traditional Scottish dish(not for the faint-hearted!) is piped in from the kitchen while the guests stand and clap the haggis in. The host or an invited guest reads Burn’s famous poem, Address To A Haggis, cutting open the haggis with a large knife when they reach the line “an cut you up wi’ ready slight”! The haggis is eaten with mashed tatties and neeps (potatoes and turnip, swede or rutabaga.) Then there will be dessert (often sherry trifle) and oatcakes and cheese.

After dinner there will be a toast to the Queen, and one of the guests will give a short speech about Burns called “The Immortal Memory”. A man makes a “Toast to the Lassies” and a lady makes a toast in reply. Guests will take turns reading Burns poems, singing Burns songs and possibly doing some Highland dancing! The party will close with everyone singing Auld Lang Syne.

MOLLY MAID suggests that a traditional Burns Night supper will include:

  • Cock-A-Leekie soup (chicken and vegetable)
  • Haggis, neeps and tatties (Potatoes, turnip, swede)
  • Sherry Trifle
  • Oatcakes and cheese

If you can’t get hold of a haggis or would prefer not to, you could always make a meatloaf! Have fun.