January the 25th is nearly upon us… Are you attending your first Burns Supper? Feeling a little daunted? Don’t know what to wear? Perhaps you’re no stranger to Burns Night but want to do something extra special this year?
Then let us help you with all your tartan needs this Burns Night!
“So what do I wear?” I hear you ask! If you have your own family or clan tartan, it is traditional to wear that, and if you don’t – then just pick yourself a tartan that you like! (which is sometimes easier!) How much tartan you wear is completely up to you (although depending on the formality of the dinner, as discussed below, there may be a strict dress code.) A more formal dinner might require full on Highlandwear for the gents and Tartan Sashes for the ladies, however a touch of tartan is likely to see you through the evening!
We have a vast array of silk and wool tartans to choose from so there’s no excuse not to dazzle!
Our Kiltie Skirts & Accessories are a fun and creative way to incorporate as much or as little tartan into your outfit, whether your look is flamboyant or subtle. For all of our Tartan Spirit Couture collection, we offer a bespoke made to measure fitting service, choose from a variety of sample designs or have a unique outfit designed for you.
If it’s a touch of tartan you’re looking for, I would suggest our Corsages or Tartan Thistles. So from our tartan Kiltie skirts and tartan accessories, to our Made to Measure Tartan Spirit Couture Collection- we have something to suit everyone.
January the 25th is arguably one of the most important dates in the Scottish calendar, for it is the celebration of the life and works of our beloved poet and lyricist Robert Burns. A Burns Supper can range from an informal gathering of friends to a huge, formal dinner. Below is what is known as The Running Order, it covers all the key formalities you need to know to plan and structure a Burns Supper that suits your intentions, depending on the formality, pick and choose!
Piping in the guests
Whilst the guests enter, either a piper or traditional Scottish music is played until the high table is ready to be seated.
Once the guests have arrived and are seated, the host welcomes them and introduces the evening’s entertainment and events.
The Selkirk Grace
The first of these is the reading of The Selkirk Grace, a short but important prayer, read to usher in the meal.
“Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.”
Piping in the haggis
Guests stand to welcome in the evenings main attraction the much anticipated haggis! Brought in on a silver platter by a procession made up of the chef, the piper and the person who will address the haggis.
Guests normally stand and clap during this event, once the haggis has reached it’s destination the music stops and guests are seated.
Have the Whisky ready for the toast!
Address to the haggis
This responsibility falls to the host or nominated individual who seizes the opportunity to recite ‘To a Haggis‘ followed by cutting the haggis, ensuring the insides spill out! (
trenching its gushing entrails).
Toast to the haggis
Prompted by the host, the audience joins in to toast the haggis. Whilst raising a glass of Whisky, shout:
The haggis! It’s now time for the best part of the evening… the food! (At larger/more formal events, the piper leads a procession carrying the cut haggis back to the kitchen for serving).
- Starter: a traditional cock-a-leekie soup
- Main Course: Haggis Neeps and Tatties, translated as haggis, mashed swede and mashed potato.
- Desert: Clootie Dumpling or Typsy Laird (a Scottish sherry trifle).
Lots of it! Wine and Ale to accompany the meal, not forgetting a wee dram of Whisky at any other opportunity!
The first entertainment
After the meal, a singer or musician will perform a well known Burns song or poem, often Tam o’ Shanter,
Holy Willie’s Prayer, or My Luve is Like a Red Red Rose.
The immortal memory
The host/speaker takes to the floor to deliver a speech on the life and works of Robert Burns, including his politics, human frailty, highs and lows and very importantly, his nationalism. The speech must paint a colourful and witty picture of Scotland’s beloved Bard.
The speech concludes with a from-the-heart toast:
To the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns!
The second entertainment
More of Burns’s work to be recited.
Toast to the Lassies
This is a humorous moment of any Burns Night and comes as a toast, designed to praise the position of women in society today. It should be done by carefully selecting particular quotes from Burns’s works and should gradually build towards a positive comment! If the speaker is clever and cheeky he will pay particular reference to those in the audience, making for a more meaningful toast.
The toast ends with:
To the Lassies!
The final entertainment
More Burns readings.
Reply to the Toast to the Lassies
This is revenge for the female guests as they get their chance to reply.
Vote of thanks
The end of the evening is near! The host now (stumbles!) or hopefully, stands to speak to the guests, thanking them for their contribution to the wonderful evening and wishing them a safe journey home.
Auld Lang Syne
The evening ends with the “well-drammed” guests joining hands and singing along to the famous Auld Lang Syne, the perfect end to a wonderful evening celebrating Robert Burns and bringing people together.