Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Scotland, on January 25, 1759. He wrote many poems, lyrics and other pieces that addressed political and civil issues. Perhaps his best known work is "Auld Lang Syne", sung at New Year's Eve celebrations around the world. Burns is one of Scotland's important cultural icons and is well known among Scottish expats or descendants around the world. He is also known as: "Rabbie Burns"; the "Bard of Ayrshire"; "Scotland's favourite son"; and in Scotland "The Bard".
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Burns' suppers are held by people and organizations with Scottish origins worldwide, particularly in Australia, Canada, UK, and the United States. These may be formal or informal events with men in kilts and women wearing shawls, skirts or dresses made from their family tartan. Formal events include toasts and readings of pieces written by Robert Burns.
The evening centers on the entrance of the haggis (a sausage of sheep or calf offal mixed with suet and oatmeal prepared in the animal's stomach) on a large platter to the sound of a piper playing bagpipes. When the haggis is on the table, the host reads the "Address to a Haggis", an ode that Burns wrote to the Scottish dish. At the end of the reading, the haggis is ceremonially sliced into two pieces and the meal begins.
Food associated with Burns' Night include: cock-a-leekie soup (chicken and leek soup); haggis; neeps (mashed turnips or swedes) and tatties (mashed potatoes); cranachan (whipped cream mixed with raspberries and served with sweet oat wafers); and bannocks (a kind of bread cooked on a griddle). Whisky is the traditional drink, of course.
You can learn more at Scotland.org: http://www.scotland.org/celebrate-scotland/burns-night
Chartering the Barge Scottish Highlander would be an excellent venue for Burns' Night!
The hotel barge Scottish Highlander has the atmosphere of a Scottish country house with subtle use of tartan furnishings and landscape paintings. At 117 feet, Scottish Highlander is spacious and has every comfort for year-round cruising. Scottish Highlander accommodates up to eight guests in staterooms that can either be configured for doubles or singles, each with ensuite bathrooms.
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