The process of The Burns Night

1. The Burns Night
The Burns Supper is an institution of Scottish life: a night to celebrate the life and works of the national Bard. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet’s birthday, 25 January, known as Burns Night Suppers can range from an informal gathering of friends to a huge, formal dinner full of pomp and circumstance.

2. Piping in the guest
Guests should normally stand to welcome the dinner’s star attraction, which should be delivered on a silver platter by a procession comprising the chef, the piper and the person who will address the Haggis.

3. Chairman’s Welcome & Address to the Haggis
The Chair (host/organiser) warmly welcomes and introduces the assembled guests and the evening’s entertainment. The honoured reader now seizes their moment of glory by offering a fluent and entertaining rendition of To a Haggis.

4. Toast to the Haggis & The meal
Prompted by the speaker, the audience now joins in the toast to the haggis. Raise a glass and shout: The haggis! Then it’s time to serve the main course with its traditional companions, neeps and tatties. Served with some suitable background music, Haggis, and the meal.

5. Toast to the Lassies
The humorous highlight of any Burns Night comes in this toast, which is designed to praise the role of women in the world today. This should be done by a selective quotation from Burns’s works and should build towards a positive note.

6. Entertainment
The final course of the evening’s entertainment comprises more Burns readings and dancing.

7. Closing
The chair now climbs to his potentially unsteady feet to thank everyone who has contributed to a wonderful evening and to suggest that taxis will arrive shortly.