This Jan 25th, lovers of Scotland and the bard Robert Burns are being invited to enjoy a very different Burn's Night, using #BurnsNightIn and #VirtualBurnsNight.
It's estimated that 9.5 million people around the world take part in Burns Night suppers every year. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Scottish Government has invited the world to celebrate Scotland and the bard Robert Burns at home and share their antics online using the hashtags #BurnsNightIn and #VirtualBurnsNight.
The world is invited to raise a "glass and join our global toast this Burns Night by sharing a picture or video and using #BurnsNightIn & #VirtualBurnsNight." You can check out all the photos and videos submitted at Scotland.org.
Their aim is "to bring everyone together – even though we are apart – and so we’re creating a ‘Global Toast’ this Burns Night. Join us, and some of Scotland’s best-known celebrities, as we raise a glass to Scotland’s National Bard."
Burn's Night supper toast
Scotland Now explains that "Toasting is an important part of any Burns Supper, and if you’ve been to a Burns Night event in the past, you’ll know that there are several different toasts throughout the evening.
Depending on the event, it’s common to toast the arrival of the Haggis and the immortal memory of Burns himself as well as the always good-natured ‘Address to the Lassies’ and ‘Reply to the Laddies’ toasts.
Robert Burns once wrote 'A night o' guid fellowship sowthers it a’!' which means an evening in good company can mend everything 💙January 20, 2021
"Toasting has existed Western culture for centuries and can be traced as far back as the 1600s. In formal settings, a nominated individual – known as the Toastmaster - offers a short expression of gratitude or goodwill towards the specific subject. Once the toastmaster has finished speaking, the rest of the group will usually raise their drink in agreement before taking a drink. However, more informally, proposing a toast can be as simple as raising a glass in the direction of someone or something."
Address to a Haggis
This poem "Address to a Haggis" by Burns is traditionally recited as the main course of the supper, the haggis is brought in to the dining room on a silver platter.
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 arm.
The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.
His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?
Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!
But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.
Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis.