Celebrate Burns Night 2016 in Barcelona
Burns Night is a typical Scottish celebration in honor of the romantic poet Robert Burns. It’s celebrated around the 25th of January in memory of his birthday.
Contrary to what you might think dinners in honor of Burns are not only held in Scotland. In any city where you can find admirers of the poet or expats that like to celebrate there is a Burns Night. Cutting to the chase, our dear friend Fergus Muirhead has been coming to Barcelona for years to organize a Burns Night. This year the event will take place on Saturday, January 30. If you’re interested in the Scottish culture and want to have a good time, don’t miss out!
What exactly is ‘Burns Night’?
Ok, but what exactly does Burns Night entail? Well, it’s a pretty standard dinner in which three things simply can’t be missing: Haggis, Scottish whiskey and poetry.
A typical Burns Night Dinner starts with traditional Scottish music to receive the guests, a welcome speech and a grace at the table. The dinner consists of a leek and potato broth or soup, followed by haggis and a traditional Scottish dessert. All this is followed by a speech about poetry or the life of Burns (oftentimes with a funny note) and several toasts with a good Scottish whiskey. Afterwards poems by Burns are read or some of his songs are sung. If there’s enough space it’s time for the typical Scottish dance after. Usually the Burns Night ends with everyone singing ‘Auld Lang Syne.’
The Haggis, a symbol of Scotland
But let’s go back to the moment when the haggis gets served. The haggis is the most typical dish of the Scottish cuisine. It’s a type of well-seasoned blood sausage/pudding with an intense taste. Although there are many varieties, it is typically prepared with offal from sheep or lamb, onion, oatmeal and spices. Haggis is served with a side of “neeps and tatties”, mashed kohlrabi and potatoes.
During Burns Night, the serving of Haggis is a whole ceremony of its own. Everyone gets up while the cook brings out the haggis on a tray and someone on the pipe plays “A mans a man for aw that” or a different Robert Burns song. Afterwards the host recites the “Address to a Haggis” also by the poet. While he recites the speech he carves the haggis. This is the most standout moment of the party.
Not relevant to our event, but since we are talking about haggis…The Scottish love to prank the tourists telling them that the haggis are little animals with two legs shorter than the others and even that there are hunts for haggis! And that’s not all. The haggis throw is recognized as a sport and the record holder is Alan Pettigrew who threw a haggis 60 yards…
Anyways, if you want to experience an authentic Burns Night in Barcelona, get your kilt out of the closet and prepare. Below is the flyer with all the information you need.