Burns Night Scotland a Night to Remember
Scotland is famous the world over for enjoying a party and nights like Hogmanay see people travelling from all corners of the earth to sample some of that hospitality. Another night that is synonymous with Scots having a great time is Burns Night.
This day is a celebration of the life and works of one of the most famous poets ever, Robert Burns. The celebrations are traditionally held on or around January 25th, the birthday of the great man, and see private and public functions celebrate his work.
It differs greatly from other events and its traditions make for an interesting evening for everyone attending. First there is the piping in of the guests before the hosts welcoming speech. The host will welcome the guests and declare the event as being open before commencing with grace, usually a well-known Scottish grace called the Selkirk Grace.
A starter of soup is followed by the piping in of the haggis, everyone stands for this and the host or nominated guest then recites the Address to a Haggis. This can prove to be a great, dramatic way of introducing the meal to the table depending on the talent of the person reciting the address.
Before sitting down to the meal a toast of Scotch Whisky will be made to the haggis and then the guests will be able to sit down and enjoy their meal. The haggis is traditionally accompanied by ‘tatties and neeps’ or mashed potato and mashed turnip.
After dessert speeches and toasts will often take place including a toast to the memory of Robert Burns. A toast to the ladies and a reply or Toast to the Laddies’ sees good humour enjoyed by all and songs and poems can then be remembered. To top the night off the host will call on a guest to give the vote of thanks before everyone takes part in singing Auld Lang Syne.
These evenings tend to be held in great spirits and that could be attributed to the Scotch whisky that keeps flowing throughout the night. The two go hand in hand and the whisky perfectly complements the unique taste of the haggis which is why getting the choice of scotch for the evening correct is rather important.
Burns himself said ‘O thou, my muse! Guid auld scotch drink.’ And there are a number of great choices for people to explore.
With distilleries all over Scotland it can be hard to pick but here are a few options that you might be interested in looking into.
The Bladnoch 10 year old gives you a scotch that is closest to Burns old stomping ground so has that added authority.
The Glen Garioch 12 years old is the ideal accompaniment to cheese and opens the door to having different blends throughout the occasion.
The Auchentoshan 21 year old is an elegant and smooth choice that will make every toast well received and this highland malt whisky is ideal.
These are just 3 of a great many scotch whiskies that you can pick from but the main thing to remember on Burns night is that you should enjoy yourself and remember the great man.
While we tidy up from this year’s event it is never too early to start planning for next year and that means lots of whisky tasting sessions.