The extract above from Burns' famous poem 'To A Mouse' perfectly describes how I feel about our Burns Celebrations this year. It's my favourite Scottish event and normally it's a flurry of activity for the Committee; coordinating bands, speakers, haggis, decorations, whisky, dancing..... did I mention whisky...??
We will miss seeing you and having a birl, but as my Nan would have said 'Dinnae fash yersel! The Scots are used to adapting so this year we hope you'll celebrate Burns at home with your 8 best pals (a perfect number for Scottish dancing btw).
Here's our tips to do Rabbie proud and please don't forget to share your photos and videos of your Burns Supper speeches and dancing! The one that makes us laugh most will receive a bottle of single malt!
BURNS SUPPER - QUICK GUIDE
Address To A Haggis
Toast to your guests
Songs, Music & Readings
Toast To The Lassies
Reply from the Lassies
Auld Lang Syne
Don't forget to wear your kilts / tartan and download some Scottish music to 'pipe in' your haggis and dance into the wee hours!
THE IMMORTAL MEMORY OF ROBERT BURNS (abv)
Robert Burns was born on January 25th 1759 in Alloway, Ayshire. His parents William Burnes and Agnes Brown were tenant farmers.
Underwhelmed by the attraction of agricultural life, he was increasingly drawn to poetry, the natural world…..and women.
He was eventually father to thirteen children of 5 different partners; his last child born on the day of his funeral.
The appeal of his illicit love was a theme he constantly returned to in his poems. Writing for him was not only a means of self-expression but of seduction which in turn became his inspiration for more poems, his songs and his letter writing.
After what he would describe as a forced marriage to Jean Armour who was pregnant with his twins, Burns moved to the capital. But after a year of dalliances and moving in the high society circles of Edinburgh he returned to Ayrshire and Jean.
Despite his success, his money ran out. He worked hard but was unsuccessful as a farmer and eventually became an exciseman in Dumfries – the very establishment he had so often scorned in his poetry. By this time, his health was already in decline and on July 21, 1796 at age 37 Robert Burns passed away.
There is some dispute over when the first Burns Supper was actually held. Originally, his friends got together on the anniversary of his death which was later changed to celebrate the Bard’s birthday. Nothing much has changed since those days, the formalities, the haggis. The big difference is that it was originally a local celebration; now, on January 25th, all over the world, people are celebrating Burns.
Celebrate Robert Burns online with friends & family around the world!
Robert Burns was a proud Freemason. It was this brotherhood that inspired the very famous 'A Man's a Man for A' That'.
The Toast To The Lassies reportedly started with the Masons thanking the ladies that helped serve meals to Masons during Burns memorial dinners. This evolved into the much anticipated toast and Reply from The Lassies that we love to hear at Burns Suppers!
Burns Statue Adelaide, Australia
Other than Queen Victoria and Christopher Columbus, Burns has more statues dedicated to him around the world than any other non-religious figure.
Burns wrote and had published hundreds of letters.
Unlike his poetry and songs which were written in the Scots dialect, his letters were written in English prose.
His two favourite books of all time were the Life of Hannibal and the history of Sir William Wallace.
THE KILMARNOCK EDITION
Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect was the first collection of Burns works. Published in 1786 by John Wilson of Kilmarnock the book is widely know as the 'Kilmarnock Edition’.
Only 612 copies were printed and they sold out within a month!
Thanks to the National Library of Scotland, they have made a digital copy of the original available here.
Published in 1786, Burns' first book sold out in a month.
LOOKING FOR SCOTTISH FOOD?
Be quick and get down to Huber's Butchery for your MacSween's Haggis ! Vegetarian version also available.
For other Scottish fare - Allan Muir makes the best Lorne Sausage & Black Pudding with special ingredients imported from Scotland!
SSAS Members receive extra slices!
THE GLENROTHES We recommend trying the fantastic range of Glenrothes Speyside single malts as the perfect dram for your many, many toasts of the night!
If you are not a Member of the Society or need to renew, we have recently made the process a whole lot easier with PayPal.
You don't have to be Scottish to join the Society; we welcome everyone and as a member you also get lots of other benefits and discounts throughout the year.