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Burns Supper
 

If you want to organise your own Burns Supper you can find out everything you need to know about what to expect here, from what food to serve, to the key speeches and poems that are not to miss.

But even if you don’t find yourself in Scotland on Burns Night, the good news is that part of this tradition can be celebrated at any time of year!  The address to the haggis is one of the key highlights of a traditional Scottish gala dinner. It is an unmissable moment for your guests. 

 

 Address to the Haggis

What can your group expect from an address to the haggis? We help you understand more about this very particular Scottish tradition!

Piping in the haggis

After being seated for dinner and having enjoyed the starter, a signal will be made to the audience to rise to their feet to greet the 'great chieftain o' the puddin' race' as it is ceremoniously piped in. At traditional Burns Suppers, the chef follows the piper into the room, carrying the haggis in on a silver platter. Sometimes it will be the piper that addresses the haggis, or other selected speaker. 

Addressing the haggis*

The appointed speaker now delivers a rousing rendition of Burns' Address to a Haggis. After apologising for 'killing' the haggis, he or she will then dramatically plunge the knife into the haggis. The meaty pudding is sliced open during the line 'An' cut you up wi' ready slight' which translates as 'and cut you up with skill'.

As the speaker recites the final lines of the poem, the platter is raised above their head whilst saying the exultant words 'Gie her a Haggis!' to rapturous applause.

Toast to the haggis

The speaker then calls for the guests to toast the haggis and everyone, including the chef, raises their glasses and shouts 'The Haggis' before enjoying a dram. 

The haggis is then piped back out to be prepared for dinner. (It is worth noting that there is usually a ceremonial haggis used for the entertainment and another haggis for dinner!)

 Kilt hire

If you want to truly immerse your guests in Scottish culture, then arrange to have them dressed in traditional Scottish dress. This means kilt outfits for gentlemen and tartan sashes for ladies. Sizes and measurements can be arranged before the event, with guests picking up their outfit prior to the event.  A fun element is a demonstration in how a kilt should be worn – you don’t want your kilt to be too long or too short – or on the wrong way round!

The night is sure to be one of the most memorable moments of your stay in Scotland!

For advice on who can help you arrange this for your event, get in touch with us on +44 131 472 2355 or email us. 

 

*Address to a Haggis*

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,

Great chieftain o' the pudding-race!

Aboon them a' yet tak your place,

Painch, tripe, or thairm:

Weel are ye worthy o'a grace

As lang's my arm.

 

The groaning trencher there ye fill,

Your hurdies like a distant hill,

Your pin was help to mend a mill

In time o'need,

While thro' your pores the dews distil

Like amber bead.

 

His knife see rustic Labour dight,

An' cut you up wi' ready sleight,

Trenching your gushing entrails bright,

Like ony ditch;

And then, O what a glorious sight,

Warm-reekin', rich!

Don't worry about not understanding all the words - even a lot of Scottish people don't understand them all either! You will certainly enjoy the event however!