Burns Night…

Brief History
Many may not have heard of Burns Night, that takes place around the 25th January, generally in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Burns Night is based around the Romantic Poet, Robert Burns.

It is a celebration of the life and work of Robbie Burns, who was the author of many Scot Poems.

The first Burns Night Supper was held in Ayrshire at the end of the 18th Century by Robert’s friends on the anniversary of his death. 21st July, they have been a regular occurrence since.

The first Burns Suppers was held on what was thought to be Robert’s Birthday, 29th January 1802. However in 1803 it was discovered in the Ayr Parish records that his birthday was actually on 25th and therefore Burns Night moved.

Even though they are most popular in Northern Ireland and Scotland, Burns Night Suppers can be held anywhere where there are Burns Clubs.

They may be formal, or informal. The informal suppers generally include haggis, Scotch Whisky and the recitation of Burns’ poetry.

The formal dinners are hosted by organisations, and occasionally end with dancing when ladies are present. However all formal dinners follow a general standard format….



Order of the Supper


1) The host says a few welcoming words and the event is declared open.

2) After the guests are seated, grace is said. It is usually the Selkirk Grace. This is a well-known thanksgiving said before meals using the Scots language. ( A link to the Grace is below)

3) The supper is then started with the soup course.

4) When the Haggis is brought in everyone stands. It is always on a large dish and is brought in by the cook. Generally a piper plays bagpipes and leads the way to the host’s table.

5) The host (or guest with talent) then recites the Address to a Haggis. (A link to the poem is below)

6) At the end of the poem a scotch whiskey toast is made and everyone goes on the enjoy the meal which is generally served with neeps (mashed swede) and tatties (mashed potatoes).

7) After the desert, cheese and coffee/whisky courses more core speeches and toasts are made.

8 ) A host gives a short speech, remembering some of Burns poetry or aspects of his life.

9) There is a Toast to the Lassies – thanking the women who prepared the meal.

10) Then the Toast to the Laddies – a reply to the Lassies toast.

11) After the speeches the work of Burns may be sung, and poems read out. This goes on for as long as the guests wish.

12) At the end of the evening (to which the host calls halt) everyone stands, joins hands and sings Auld Lang Syne.


Selkirk Grace 

What to wear to this event…
Many would opt for the traditional Scottish Dress, which is the equivalent of the formal black tie.
Here at Suitsmen we offer a tradition Scottish Formal Outfit, as well as some well needed essentials, such as kilt socks.


We have got to have you looking your best.



For more information call on 01335 361287 or email support@suitsmen.co.uk


                                                HAVE A GREAT BURNS NIGHT!!!