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Attend a Burns Supper in Scotland

Submitted by on January 3, 2020 – 8:32 amNo Comment

Haggis, Neeps, and Tatties, Burns Supper, ScotlandJanuary may seem like a month of rest and relaxation after festive indulgences, but there are plenty of reasons to keep celebrating, most prominently: Burns Night.

Scots and other Road Trips Foodies can toast Robert Burns’ legacy on the big night (January 25 — the anniversary of his birth) and celebrate Scotland with a wee dram and a traditional Burns supper of haggis, neeps and tatties.

There are also all sorts of events taking place across Scotland, including the Big Burns Supper festival in Dumfries (think cabaret acts, comedy and music alongside the haggis) as well as the world’s first Burns Supper drive-thru in South Ayrshire.

After enjoying the food, Scotland fans can then follow in the Bard’s footsteps including his birthplace, Alloway in Ayrshire – home to the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum – and Dumfries, which is home to places such as Ellisland Farm (built by Robert Burns as his home in 1788) and the Globe Inn pub (established in 1610, which was regularly frequented by Burns and is home to some fascinating memorabilia).

Various venues in Dumfries, the “capital” of South Scotland, have planned special events for January 23 through February 2, 2020. The festival takes place in bars, art galleries, museums, and other places, and has an 800-person-capacity Spiegeltent which features a roster of international entertainers.

The line-up for 2020 includes music from Morcheeba, Newton Faulkner, and Elephant Sessions; burlesque performers Le Haggis (who might have even made Burns himself blush); and the Band of Burns, who will bring their unique take on the Bard’s works at Burns Night Live January 25, 2020. Brand-new for this year is the addition of two performances of Family Le Haggis, bringing all that is “brilliant and bizarre” from Dumfries’ favourite cabaret show but suitable for audiences of all ages.

Celebrate the bard in his ‘hame toun’ (home town — Alloway) with a celebration street party, Burns live music nights, Alloway birthday celebrations, the only Burns Supper in the world to take place in Burns Cottage. The celebration runs January 23 through 27, 2020.

The world’s first Burns Supper Drive Thru will take place at Newhailes House & Gardens in Edinburgh January 25, 2020. Visitors can order their meals on arrival, and enjoy from the comfort of their own cars. A bit of poetry or a song can also be expected. Robert Burns

Supper with Burns at the Scottish Storytelling Centre takes place in Edinburgh January 23 and 24, 2020. There’ll be a three-course Scottish dinner – with the centerpiece haggis – and a generous helping of Burns’ stories and songs. It’s hosted by storytellers David Campbell and Ruth Kirkpatrick, with clarsach player Katie Harrigan, plus Donald Smith’s rendition of Tam O’Shanter.

Road Trips Foodies thinking about hosting a Burns Supper need to be sure to serve haggis, neeps (turnips), and tatties (potatoes). There is a caveat, of course. Traditional haggis is made with (among other ingredients) sheep’s lung, and it’s been illegal since 1971 to import sheep’s lung; you’ll need to find a substitute for this particular offal).

The traditional date is,of course, January 25 (the Scottish bard was born January 25, 1759), but a nearby weekend evening is acceptable.

To start – everyone gathers, the host says a few words, everyone sits and the Selkirk Grace is said.

The meal – the starter is served, the haggis is piped in (by a piper in a kilt naturally), the host performs Address to a Haggis, everyone toasts the haggis, and the main meal is served, followed by dessert (cranachan is a great option.)

After the meal, the first Burns recital is performed, the Immortal Memory (the main tribute speech to Burns) is given, the second Burns recital is performed, and then there’s a Toast to the Lassies, followed by a Reply to the Toast to the Lassies, before the final Burns recital is performed.

To end the night – the host gives a vote of thanks, everyone stands and sings Auld Lang Syne, crossing their arms and joining hands at the line ‘And there’s a hand, my trusty fere!’.

There’s more information on Robert Burns, Scotland, and Burns Night onine.

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