sábado, 10 de enero de 2009

Burns Night



25th JANUARY 2009

Do you feel like knowing more about Scottish culture? Let's read about one of the most important traditions in Scotland is

Burns Suppers have been part of Scottish culture for about 200 years as a means of commemorating the poet Robert Burns.

Robert Burns is Scotland's most well-known and best loved poet. He was born in Alloway, Ayrshire in south-west Scotland, on January 25th 1759, and Burns' Night is celebrated on his birthday.


Burns suppers are most common in Scotland, but they occur wherever there are Burns clubs around the world. At the end of the 18th century his friends started to celebrated the first suppers on the anniversary of his death, July 21, In Memoriam and, although the date has changed to 25 January until nowadays.


Host's welcoming speech
The host says a few words welcoming everyone to the supper . The event is declared open
The supper then starts with the a Scottish soup such as Cock- a- Leekie

The entrance of the haggis
The people are asked to stand to receive the haggis. A piper then leads the chef, carrying the haggis to the top table, while the guests accompany them with a slow handclap. The chairman recites Burns' famous poem To a Haggis, with great enthusiasm. When he reaches the line 'an cut you up wi' ready slight', he cuts open the haggis with a sharp knife.

Toast to the haggis
The guests now joins in the toast to the haggis. Raise a glass and shout: The haggis! Then the main course is served with neeps and tatties, a dessert course, such as clootie pudding or bannocks, coffee, etc. are also part of the meal, too.

At coffee time speeches and toasts take place. The order of these speeches and toasts are as follows.

Loyal toast
The host proposes a toast to the health of the monarch or to the leader of the country.

Immortal memory
One of the guests gives a short speech, remembering some aspect of Burns' life or poetry. The speaker is supposed to prepare a speech to entertain people. Everyone drinks a toast to Robert Burns.

The host will normally say a few words thanking the previous speaker for his speech.

Toast to the Lassies
The main speech is followed by a more light-hearted address to the women in the audience. Originally this was a thank you to the ladies for preparing the food and a time to toast the 'lasses' in Burns' life. The tone should be witty, but never offensive, and should always end on a concilliatory note.
The men drink a toast to the women's health.

Reply to the Toast to the Lassies
This is occasionally (and humorously) called the 'Toast to the Laddies', and like the previous toast it is generally quite wide ranging nowadays. In it a female guest will give her views on men and reply to any specific points raised by the previous speaker. Like the previous speech this should be amusing but not offensive. Quite often the speakers giving this toast and the previous one will collaborate so that the two toasts complement each other.
Some examples of these speeches.

Other toasts and speeches
Once the speeches are complete the evening continues with songs and poems. These should be a good variety to fully show the different moods of Burns muse. Favourites for recitations are Tam O' Shanter , Address to the Unco Guid, To a Mouse.
The evening will culminate with the company standing, linking hands and singing Auld Lang Syne to conclude the supper.

Have a meeting with Robert Burns click http://www.scotland.org/burns-night/interactive/, you can listen to him talking about himself and their works.

If you are interested in 2009 celebrations click Burns' Night 2009

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