Burns Suppers

Some hae meat and canna eat, And some wad eat that want it, But we hae meat and we can eat, Sae let the Lord be Thankit! ” – The Selkirk Grace

January 25th is the day when Scotland and people all over the world celebrate the birthday of Scotland’s most famous poet – Robbie Burns. Whilst Burn’s birthday isn’t a national holiday, it is celebrated in Scotland far more widely than St Andrew’s day .

Burns Night’s are also hugely popular in England and are celebrated in pubs, restaurants, masonic lodges, residential homes, schools, golf clubs and in people’s homes. Celebrations usually start mid January and end early February. They’re a great way for people to experience Scottish food and whisky, learn about the life of Robbie Burns, listen and dance to bagpipes and ceilidh music, as well as listening to recitals of the great writers poetry.

The Role of The Bagpiper At A Burns Supper

No Burns Night is complete without a highland bagpiper. Bagpipes are a fundamental part of Scottish tradition. Traditionally the bagpiper will welcome guests arriving at the beginning of the evening.

The Sportsman Burns Night, Hayfield, Derbyshire
The Sportsman, Hayfield, Derbyshire

The first course is then served and once people have finished and plates have been the cleared, the piper will lead in the haggis (usually a giant haggis carried by the chef) to the tune ‘A Man’s A Man For A That’ and parade around the dining area so diners get to see the haggis. The haggis is then placed on a table for everyone to see and a nominated speaker will address the haggis with the famous Burns poem ‘Address Tae The Haggis‘. This is followed by the piper, the speaker and the chef toasting the haggis with a Scottish malt whisky. The haggis is then served.

Burns Night Bagpiper
Address Tae The Haggis

After dinner it is tradition for a ceilidh band or Scottish folk band to take over the entertainment. Alternatively the bagpiper can entertain guests with medleys of highland dance tunes including marches, strathspeys, jigs, reels and hornpipes.

Bagpiper Manchester Burns
Burns Night at The Golden Cross, Shrewsbury

If you are arranging a Burns Supper bare in mind bagpipers are in huge demand and in England they’re in short supply. It is advisable to book as early as possible and consider hosting your event on a date other than the 25th January if a bagpiper can’t be found on that date. To enquire about my availability please call 07730987488 or email info@cheshirebagpiper.co.uk.

The Golden Cross, Shrewsbury