What Is Burns Night?
Five years after Robert Burns died, a group of his friends got together to remember him and his poetry.
It soon became a tradition and every year on his birthday, the 25th January, Scots all round the world celebrate this.
The format is similar to what happened on that original dinner.
Storykeepers had our own version of Burns Night:
Guests are piped in by bagpipes to take their places at the dining table.
A Grace written Robert Burns was read.
The supper should begin with a soup course, but we skipped that!
The meal centres around the haggis which is like a big sausage with meat, oatmeal and spices in it.
The haggis was brought in from the kitchen with bagpipes playing, while the guests stand and clap the haggis it in. We didn’t have haggis – we had Scottish Shortbread instead!
Then Burn’s famous poem, ‘Address To A Haggis’ should be read and at a certain point they cut open the haggis with a large knife.
But as the poem was long and difficult to understand – especially for youngsters we just read the first three lines:
Fair is your honest happy face.
Great chief of the pudding race.
Above them all you take your place….
Then we cut the haggis (broke the Shortbread) and then read the last few lines of the poem:
….Old Scotland wants no watery food.
That splashes in dishes
But if you wish her grateful prayer.
Give her a haggis!
We then tucked in and then listened to a short story about the Loch Ness Monster!
For our thought provoking time we looked at different symbols and why Robert Burns chose the haggis as a symbol to represent Scotland
Then we had a question to think about:
What everyday symbol did Jesus choose to remind us of him?
Well, it was at a meal time: and holding up a loaf of bread, Jesus said:
This is my body broken for you”
Then holding up the wine tumbler, Jesus said:
This is my blood shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins”
These were just simple symbols to remind us that Jesus died for us.
Okay, back to the Burns Night.
A man then makes a “Toast to the Lassies” and a lady makes a toast in reply to the Laddies.
Guests then take turns reading Burns poems, singing his songs and possibly doing some Highland dancing!
Yes and we did have a go at the dancing!
I started on my Faith Journey in 1976 whilst on my sandwich year from college.
Since then I’ve not been restrained to any one denomination – believing that local Church is always important. Through career moves and life changes this has enabled me to play a part in the Assembly of God Church, Elim, various New Church Groupings, Brethren, Anglican and Baptist Churches.
I am married to Jackie and we live in Cambridgeshire in the UK.