Will you be celebrating the life of Scottish poet, Robert Burns, with the traditional Burns Night supper this evening? A celebration among Scottish people not just in Scotland, but around the world, the supper contains a number of traditional stages which are usually followed. 

First, diners will be greeted by the most iconic Scottish instrument of all; the bagpipes, as a piper plays in guests to dinner.

Next, the host will welcome everyone to supper in a speech, followed by a message of thanksgiving, known as the Selkirk Grace.

Some hae meat an canna eat,

And some wad eat that want it;

But we hae meat, and we can eat,

And sae the Lord be thankit.

Next comes the soup course, before the piper returns to pipe in the haggis, which is usually delivered by the chef to the host's table on a platter. The host will then address the haggis, beginning with the following words:


Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,

Great chieftain o' the puddin-race!

Aboon them a' ye tak your place,

Painch, tripe, or thairm:

Weel are ye wordy o' a grace

As lang's my airm.

As the speech reaches its climax, the ceremonial cutting of the haggis will take place, then served alongside neeps and tatties, or swede and potatoes. 

After the other courses, toasts are given, firstly in immortal memory of Robert Burns, at which a reading of his poetry may take place. This is followed by the 'Address to the Lassies', in which the male guests thank the female guests for their company, and is followed by the 'Reply to the Laddies' in which the women reciprocate.

The night will generally end with all the diners standing to sing Auld Lang Syne, one of Burns's most famous compositions.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And auld lang syne.


For auld lang syne, my jo,

For auld lang syne.

We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

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