Good news for all those who love things tartan, or things poetic, or things containing sheep’s heart, liver and lungs minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and simmered in the animal’s stomach several hours: it’s Burns’ Day!
Burns’ Day, observed on or around Robert Burns’ birthday (he was born January 25, 1759), is celebrated with a fairly ritualized dinner involving several toasts, recitations, bagpipes, and of course, haggis, which is ritually presented. Following close on the heels of grace comes the entrance of the haggis and a recital of Burns’ “Address to a Haggis,” to particular lines of which the drawing of the knife and carving of the haggis are timed.
Check out the entire run-down of toasts and courses, along with the annotated text of the “Address,” here.
Don’t have it in you to throw your own Burns’ Day supper? The two best-known Scottish spots in New York, Highlands and St. Andrews, are both celebrating Burns’ Day tonight. Highlands is sold-out but there should be room at the bar, perfect for those more comfortable with celebrating with a single malt than offal. At the time of this post, St. Andrews is still taking reservations for tables downstairs.
And for those outside of New York, or for those who care more for poetry and/or bizarre (re)animation of long-dead poets, have a look at this bizarre but intriguing video of Burns reading his “Address.”