Time for tradition and tartan – it’s Burns Night

Burns suppers are held to celebrate the life and work of Scottish poet Robert Burns.

On Saturday, January 25, Caledonian societies and Scottish groups and organisations north and south of the border will meet to enjoy the traditional meal of soup, Scotch broth or cock-a-leekie, haggis, tatties (potatoes) and neeps (mashed turnips).

Corby, Lakelands Day Hospice, preview of Burn's Night event. 'Shaun Forde (fundraiser) gets into the spirit. 'Friday, 11 January 2008

Corby, Lakelands Day Hospice, preview of Burn's Night event. 'Shaun Forde (fundraiser) gets into the spirit. 'Friday, 11 January 2008

A dram or two of uisage beatha, Gaelic for the water of life, or whisky, is also an important part of the celebration to mark Burns’ birthday.

The suppers are steeped in tradition and usually start with the Selkirk Grace followed by the piping in of the haggis.

The Address to the Haggis is recited during which the speaker cuts open the pudding and a toast is proposed to the delicacy which is made of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices and salt.

After the meal there are speeches, songs and toasts including the immortal memory, remembering Burns’ life and poetry, as well as the toast to the lassies.

John Douglas, Corby’s Mr Scotland, moved to the town in 1955 and has been celebrating Burns’ Night every year since.

He will be joining guests at the Manor House, Tresham College’s restaurant in Corby tonight at its Burns supper and at the celebration at Seagrave House care home in Occupation Road, in the town, on Sunday, January 26.

He said: “Burns suppers are held all over the world and Corby has its fair share.

“I remember when the Asda store opened in Corby I addressed the world’s biggest haggis.

“I admire Burns as a man. He was a champion of humanity and it’s right we celebrate his life and work.”