Every year on January 25th, celebrations are held all over Scotland to commemorate our national poet, Robert Burns. And, to be fair, it doesn’t stop at Scotland’s borders, tributes are paid across the world in the form of traditional Burns Suppers. If you haven’t experienced a Burns Supper, here are a few things you have missed out on which we think make the ultimate Burns Night celebration.
Set the Scene
Whether a smaller affair at home or a large community event, make sure to set the atmosphere for the night with flashes of tartan. Tableware, sashes, kilts, dresses, hats, jewellery; anything with Scotland’s beloved material is sure to make you and the venue look the part. Feel free to throw in some thistles and lucky white heather in simple vases or bottles to complete the look.
Particularly at larger Burns Suppers, the tradition of several toasts and speeches with some of Robbie Burns poems and songs laced through typically make up a significant part of any Burns Night. Some choose to stick stringently to it whereas others take a slightly more relaxed approach (we once heard a Burns Night toast done to the tune of ‘the Fresh Prince of Bel Air’!). There is no right or wrong way but we love having even just a small toast or recite a single Burns poem, after all, the night is to celebrate him!
Along with tartan and Burn’s poems, traditional Scottish music plays a huge part in any Burns Night celebrations. From having a solo piper piping in the haggis to a full blown ceilidh band to dance the night away into the wee hours after the meal and toasts are finished, no Burns Supper is complete with out it!
Food & Drink
The final piece to the Burns Supper puzzle, is a hearty meal and a good dram. Ask anyone what you have to eat on Burns night and the answer is always haggis, neeps and tatties (that’s haggis with mashed turnip and mashed potatoes to anyone outside of Scotland!). Often served with oatcakes and a wonderful whisky sauce, there is nothing else like it! It may not be to everyone’s liking though so many Burns Suppers also provide an alternative like mince or sausages with neeps and tatties. Whatever your meal of choice, the traditional beverage to wash it all down is always a Scottish whisky. We are lucky enough to have Old Pulteney whisky on our door step however we are also big fans of the nearby Rock Rose gin, we think either are perfectly acceptable really!
However you decide to celebrate Robbie Burns, whether a full on traditional supper complete with ceilidh or a quiet meal at home with just a Burns poem in your mind, we hope you have a wonderful Burns night and would like to leave you with our tribute. As you probably know, Burns was born and lived in Ayrshire however he travelled and saw other parts of Scotland. This inspired some of his writings and, most notably, the Highlands was an area he grew very fond of even leading to the song “My Heart’s in the Highland’s”. As we are based in the Northern Highlands, we decided to show you some of the sights we have near our quarries that may have influenced Scotland’s most famous poet and have our very own managing director, Michael Ronaldson, to thank for the musical accompaniment. Enjoy and have a great Burn’s Night!