I want to wish everyone a very Happy Burn’s Night, now in my ignorance I always thought of Burn’s Night as just a happy get -together where Scottish and the like can all have a great meal and enjoy some quality time with friend’s and family but now I have learnt what Burn’s Night is all bout I hang my head in shame for not knowing. So I have collected a few fact’s and history to celebrate Burn’s Night but also Robert Burn’s who the night is so famously named after.
So for those who don’t know Burn’s Night is celebrated on the evening of 25 January, the birthday of the Scottish poet Robert Burns, on which celebrations in his honour are traditionally held in Scotland and elsewhere.
Robert Burns, also known as Rabbie Burns, the Bard of Ayrshire and various other names and epithets, was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is widely regarded as the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide.
Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Scotland, on January 25, 1759. He died in Dumfries, Scotland, on July 21, 1796. He was a bard (poet) and wrote many poems, lyrics and other pieces that addressed political and civil issues. Perhaps his best known work is “Auld Lang Syne”, which is sung at News Years Eve celebrations in Scotland, parts of the United Kingdom, and other places around the world. Burns is one of Scotland’s important cultural icons and is well known among Scottish expats or descendants around the world. He is also known as: “Rabbie Burns”; the “Bard of Ayrshire”; “Scotland’s favorite son”; and in Scotland “The Bard”.
Robert Burns’ acquaintances held the first Burns’ supper on July 21, the anniversary of his death, in Ayrshire, Scotland, in the late 1700s. The date was later changed to January 25, which marks his birthday. Burns’ suppers are now held by people and organizations with Scottish origins worldwide, particularly in Australia, Canada, England, and the United States.
What Do People Do?
Many people and organizations hold a Burns’ supper on or around Burns’ Night. These may be informal or formal, only for men, only for women, or for both genders. Formal events include toasts and readings of pieces written by Robert Burns. Ceremonies during a Burns’ Night supper vary according to the group organizing the event and the location.
A piper in full Highland dress pipes in the haggis during a Burns’ Night celebration.
The evening centers on the entrance of the haggis (a type of sausage prepared in a sheep’s stomach) on a large platter to the sound of a piper playing bagpipes. When the haggis is on the table, the host reads the “Address to a Haggis”. This is an ode that Robert Burns wrote to the Scottish dish. At the end of the reading, the haggis is ceremonially sliced into two pieces and the meal begins.
The Scottish flag is often displayed at Burns’ Night celebrations. It is known as the Saltire and consists of a rectangular blue background with thick white bars on the diagonals. The diagonals form a cross that represents Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland.
At Burns’ Night events,many men wear kilts and women may wear shawls, skirts or dresses made from their family tartan. A tartan was originally a woolen cloth with a distinctive pattern made by using colors of weft and warp when weaving. Particular patterns and combinations of colors were associated with different areas, clans and families. Tartan patterns are now printed on various materials.
Many types of food are associated with Burns’ Night. These include: cock-a-leekie soup (chicken and leek soup); haggis; neeps (mashed turnips or swedes) and tatties (mashed potatoes); cranachan(whipped cream mixed with raspberries and served with sweet oat wafers); and bannocks (a kind of bread cooked on a griddle). Whisky is the traditional drink.
“I’ve just realized it’s Burns Night tonight, and I’ve no haggis in the fridge”
So there is my own round up of Burn’s Night and I hope everyone who is celebrating that they have a great time.