Burns Night is upon us, with an abundance of haggis, the “great chieftain o’ the puddin’-race” and whisky and poetry! Many poetry lovers come together every year on 25 January, the birthday of Robert Burns, the great Scottish poet and celebrate him by consuming typical Scottish food and drinks. This is a tradition that has been kept since 1801, when his friends gathered together five years after Burns’s death to commemorate his life and work.
While informal gatherings of friends might just enjoy a bit of haggis and (a bit more) spirits, formal Burns suppers actually have a set standard order, starting with a piper greeting guests, welcoming speeches, then several courses of delicious Scottish food with toasts and poetry recitals. Even the haggis is addressed by the host before it is ceremoniously cut. The feast is then closed by everyone joining hands and singing Auld Lang Syne, one of Burns’s most famous poems.
Traditionally haggis is made of offal, oatmeal and various spices but vegetarians and vegans should not despair as there are several non-meaty options available, too. Haggis is often served with “neeps and tatties” which is Scottish for mashed swede and potato. Oh, and don’t forget a wee dram, either!
Source of image: Wikimedia Commons