Burns Night Edinburgh
Wed 25 Jan 2017, various venues.
Burns Night is held on 25th January each year in honour of the celebrated Scottish poet Robert Burns.
The occasion is marked with a dinner known as a Burns Supper, at which guests eat a traditional Scottish meal of haggis neeps and tatties, drink Scotch whisky and recite Burns’ poetry. Traditional Scottish dances called Ceilidhs (pronounced kay-lees) are also a popular way to spend Burns Night.
Events range from organised formal dinners with a Toast Master and Piper to small celebrations hosted at home.
Organised Burns Suppers, Ceilidhs and Other Events
In Edinburgh, there are many Burns Night celebrations to join. They range from special Burns Night meals to full Burns Suppers with entertainment. There are also family shows and other events to enjoy. Here’s what’s planned for 2017:
- Prestonfield Burns Night (19 Jan)
- Tam O’Shanter: Telling the Big Tale (20 Jan)
- The Ghillie Dhu Rabbie Burns Experience (20 – 28 Jan)
- Burns for Beginners at Edinburgh Castle (21 – 25 Jan)
- Lauriston Hall Burns Ceilidh (22 – 23 Jan)
- Cafe Ceilidh: Burns Celebration (24 Jan)
- Rabbie: A Burns Night Spectacular (24 – 25 Jan)
- Supper with Burns (24 – 25 Jan)
- Burns Ceilidh at the Counting House (25, 27, 28 Jan)
- Britannia Burns Supper (27 Jan)
- St Columba’s Burns Supper (27 Jan)
- The Scottish Cafe Burns Night Ceilidh (27 – 28 Jan)
Hold your own Burns Night
If you choose to hold your own Burns Night, you can make it as formal or informal as you like. Make sure you have the following elements covered for a great Burns Supper.
- Music – Traditional bagpipe music is used to welcome the guests to the table. You could hire a Piper for the night, or simply play a CD.
- Speakers – A Toast Master formally welcomes the guests and announces each stage of the proceedings. Professional Toast Masters are available to hire, or you could do this yourself. You will also need to choose readers to recite Burns’ poetry, which of course features heavily throughout the evening. It is best to choose readers who can can speak Scots language. Traditionally the ‘Selkirk Grace‘ prayer is read before the meal.
- Haggis – Music starts up again and guests stand as the chef brings the haggis to the table. ‘Address to a Haggis‘ is recited and the haggis is cut. A toast is raised to “The Haggis!” with a dram of whisky. The chef then takes it back to the kitchen to serve up.
- Supper – A traditional Scottish meal follows. Often Cock-a-leekie soup is served as a starter, Haggis, neeps and tatties as a main, and Cranachan for dessert. The meal is usually served with wine, beer and whisky.
- Entertainment – The evening continues with a series of speeches, Burns’ songs and poetry readings. Popular songs include Tam O’Shanter and A Red, Red Rose. The main speeches are; The Immortal Memory, Toast to the Lassies and The Lassies’ Reply.
- Finale – To end the night, the host thanks the guests and everyone involved in the event. Everyone joins hands to sing ‘Auld Lang Syne‘.