Burns Night, observed on the 25th of January each year, is a cherished Scottish tradition commemorating the life and poetry of the bard Robert Burns. Central to the festivities is the Burns Supper, an elaborate meal steeped in tradition and cultural significance. The star of the supper is haggis, a savoury pudding containing sheep’s pluck (heart, liver, and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, encased in the animal’s stomach. It’s traditionally served with neeps (turnips) and tatties (potatoes), providing a hearty, rustic balance to the dish.
The haggis is customarily ushered in with pomp and ceremony, often accompanied by bagpipe music, and addressed with Burns’s poem “Address to a Haggis.” This ode to the humble haggis highlights its importance in Scottish culture. The meal typically commences with a soup, like Scotch broth or Cullen skink, and concludes with a dessert such as Cranachan or Tipsy Laird, accompanied by Scottish whisky, which plays a vital role in toasting the legacy of Burns. Burns Night is thus not only a culinary experience but a profound celebration of Scottish heritage and the enduring legacy of its most beloved poet.