Why do we celebrate Burns Night?

Have you ever wondered where the traditional Burns Night celebration comes from?

It is a tradition, upheld by many throughout England and Scotland, to commemorate the poet Robert Burns' contribution to Scottish culture. The 17th century poet penned hundreds of songs, letters and poems over his short lifetime of only 37 years. One of his most famous works is Auld Lang Syne, a song often featured within a traditional Burns Supper, which is celebrated on Burns birthday on 25th January. Audley Villages are celebrating it too. Aye we are!

The famous 'Address to a Haggis' poem by Robert Burns, who was born on 25th January 1759 in Ayrshire in Scotland, can be translated as...

Address to a Haggis

Good luck to you and your honest, plump face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Stomach, tripe, or intestines:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.

The groaning trencher there you fill,
Your buttocks like a distant hill,
Your pin would help to mend a mill
In time of need,
While through your pores the dews distill
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour wipe,
And cut you up with ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like any ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm steaming, rich!

Then spoon for spoon, the stretch and strive:
Devil take the hindmost, on they drive,
Till all their well swollen bellies by-and-by
Are bent like drums;
Then old head of the table, most like to burst,
'The grace!' hums.

Is there that over his French ragout,
Or olio that would sicken a sow,
Or fricassee would make her vomit
With perfect disgust,
Looks down with sneering, scornful view
On such a dinner?

Poor devil! see him over his trash,
As feeble as a withered rush,
His thin legs a good whip-lash,
His fist a nut;
Through bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit.

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his ample fist a blade,
He'll make it whistle;
And legs, and arms, and heads will cut off
Like the heads of thistles.

You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland wants no watery stuff,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer,
Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!

Translation courtesy of http://www.robertburns.org.uk/Assets/Poems_Songs/toahaggis.htm

Audley Villages will be joining the celebration and hosting a Burns Night three course supper from 6pm at our restaurants in the North, Midlands, South East and South West of England. Find out more about Audley Villages restaurants.

Example Burns Night menu

This sample Burns Night menu (above) is available at Aldwyn's at Ellerslie, in Malvern, from 6pm.

"Lang may yer lum reek"

Which translates to "May you live long and keep well". There are many Scottish sayings you may recognise, even if you're not Scottish.

Have a bonnie day and please do share your memories and tales of Burns Night on Audley Villages social media channels.

Audley Villages restaurants host a traditional Burns Night Supper on 25th January, including (of course) Haggis and plenty of Whiskey.

Book your Burns Night three course meal from £25 per person (prices vary by menu and location).