Get Ready for Burns Night

Burns Night

“So is Burns Night when people go round setting fire to things?” asked my nine-year old son. When I tried to explain, the reality sounded almost as bizarre. How many other countries have a feast to celebrate a dead poet? When is Shakespeare Day or Robert Frost Night? And who else would eat ‘offally’ good stuffed intestines to the sound of bagpipes, but a Scot?

At forward2me we think that Burns Night is held on the 25th of January to fill the gap between Hogmanay and Valentines Day - any excuse for a celebration to break up the relentless dark, cold Scottish winter. Going more than three weeks in winter without some sort of shindig is akin to blasphemy for most Scots...

The History of Burns Night

Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns (1759-1791) was born in Alloway in Ayrshire and died aged only 37 in Dumfries, approximately 139 km's from forward2me. He wrote in both Scots dialect and English and is celebrated as a romantic and political hero. Burns Night began when a few of his friends gathered to commemorate him on the anniversary of his death (which was in July). This grew in popularity with clubs and societies springing up to celebrate his life and works on the more cheerful date of his birthday on January 25th.

How to Celebrate Burns Night

It has become traditional to hold a Burns Night supper that involves a feast: A starter such as cock-a-leekie soup, and a main course of haggis, neeps (mashed turnips) and tatties (potatoes). The haggis is ‘piped’ in and ceremonially cut to the toast of ‘To a Haggis’ by Burns. This is all followed by a pudding such as Cranachan or oat cakes and cheeses. There are poems, and copious amounts of whisky drinking often followed by a celidh (dancing).

How Will You Celebrate?

Although at forward2me, we can’t deliver haggis, we can help with things to give you a taste of Scotland. How about a kilt, a Tam O’Shanter hat or a special dress for the occasion? Use our door-to-door tracked service to order a special quaich to share a tipple in or some Scottish crystal. Tartan accessories are popular this year. Order online using our secure international shipping and we can deliver door to door.

Robert Burns himself came close to emigrating to Jamaica. There are millions of people across the globe who are descendants or expatriates of Scotland who feel the urge to celebrate. Find a Burns supper near you or invite a few friends and hold your own. Why not order a book of poems, a DVD or CDs to evoke the atmosphere and use the personal shopper service if your international credit card isn’t recognised?

Why not make a cock-a-leekie soup? All you need is a chicken, stock, leeks, barley or rice and some prunes (sounds strange, but they were added to give the soup more nutritional value apparently). Follow it with Cranachan – whipped cream, rasperries, honey and pinhead oatmeal soaked with whisky. If you can’t get whisky or the oatmeal or even the cream, thick greek-style yoghurt with honey, rasperries and toasted almonds comes reasonably close.

Here’s a poem to get you in the mood:

A Red, Red Rose

O my Luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my Luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry:

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' it were ten thousand mile.