January 25 is just around the corner, and that means Burns Suppers will be taking place all over the world over the next week.
There are a few key elements to any good Burns Supper, so if you are planning to host one this year, read on for some tips on making sure the party goes with a bang.
During the meal – normally a combination of haggis, neeps (turnip) and tatties (potatoes) – it’s important to celebrate the life and the great works of the Scottish poet.
One of the key things to remember is that one of the guests – not the host – should make the Immortal Memory speech about Burns' life and works. The host should then thank the speaker, and may make his own comments and observations.
It’s also important to include a Toast to the Lasses; this is made by one of the male guests, and is traditionally used to thank the women (the “lassies” or “lasses”) who painstakingly prepared the meal before them. The host may even wish to make his own comment on the fairer sex too!
A toast is made to the health of the women present, and in response – if present – the women will then speak, giving their comments on the men, which is often a rather funny part of the evening.
As well as the speeches, readings and toasts already carried out, more Burns poems may be sung or read, with favourites often including To A Mouse.
Scottish country dancing often follows, which allows everyone the chance to mingle with the guests at the event, and the evening comes to a close when the host calls upon another guest to offer thanks.
At this point in the night the guests then join hands to sing Auld Lang Syne.
How are you planning to mark Burns night this year? Leave us your comments using the facility on the site.
TO A MOUSE:
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