Burns Night: Running Order
If you think you would like to celebrate the birthday of "Rabbie Burns", you can organise your event to run along these lines:
Piping in the guests with genuine Scottish bagpipes if possible, but recorded if necessary. All should remain standing until the most important guests are ready to be seated.
A formal warm welcome from the Chairman followed by the Selkirk Grace (also called Burns Grace at Kirkcudbright), recited in Scots dialect.
Piping in the Haggis
The guests stand for the main event, the haggis should ideally be brought in on a silver platter with the whiskey-bearer, the chef, the piper and the person who is going to "address" the haggis.
When everyone is seated the reader reads the poem "To a haggis".
When they reach the right line ("His knife see Rustic-labour dight")
they cut the haggis along its length so that some of the filling comes
out ("trenching its gushing entrails"). On the last line ("Gie
he a Haggis!") the reader raises the haggis high.
Then they raise a glass to the haggis to the toast "The Haggis!". Then the haggis is returned to the kitchen for serving with neeps (parsnips) and tatties (potatoes).
The next step is to have a speech on the life of Burns to include things like his political awareness and his writing skill. This should end with the toast "To the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns!"
Someone should render one of the poems or songs written by Burns.
Then there is a toast to the ladies, Burns was noted for his attraction to the fairer sex. An appropriate quotation from the great mans work should be chosen with the final words "To the Lassies!".
Another rendition of his words.
Now a lady has the right of reply to the mens toast, giving them a chance to go one-up with examples and words from Burns life and his words.
Another rendition, the last, should follow as the remaining drams are downed.