Top Tips for Planning a Roaring Burns Night
With Christmas and New Year's Eve a fading memory we look ahead to one of the stand out events of the post-festive winter period: Burns Night. On the 25th of January every year, the Scots celebrate the life and work of their national poet, Robert (Rabbie) Burns. In his short life, the poet produced an enormous amount of work which is remembered through ancient rituals of music, food, drink, dance and of course poetry.
The night reflects the way the Scottish Bard lived: fast-paced, full of drinking and focused around one big factor: having a great time. Here are our 'Burns Night Top Tip's for keeping this fun and ancient tradition alive.
"Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit."
Follow these steps to ensure a rip roaring Burns Night entertainment:
Piping in the Haggis
First, you need a haggis accompanied by traditional neeps (turnips)and tatties (potatoes). Once this is prepared and your guests are tucking into expensive whiskies, it’s time to pipe the haggis in.
This is the ceremony where the haggis is presented to the guests accompanied by the distinct sound of bagpipes. If you are looking for bagpipers try our Solo Scottish Bagpiper, or for something more fun, a Bagpipe Comedy Show.
Another, oft-overlooked part of the Burns Supper is the address to the haggis. This is the recital of Burns’ poem of the same name, and you will save yourself an enormous amount of hassle if you find yourself an actual Scottish person to do it.
Not only is the poem written in a strong and impenetrable Scots accent, but it’s also rather gory, and everyone knows the Scottish aren’t faint hearted.
If you're after ideas for the best Burns Night ever, then the eating and drinking bit is where you'll score some valuable brownie points.
After one of your party have recited Burns’ ‘Address to a Haggis’, a poem generally about how hateful the English are, it’s time to tuck into your grub. You might want something to help it go down (not to suggest that haggis isn’t delicious)...
How about a whisky taster to talk you through the fineries of scotch and get you pleasantly inebriated at the same time? You’ll discover some interesting facts about single malts and unlearn more than a few myths. If your guests don’t like their drams of fire water, the supplier also offer wine, port and craft beer tastings.
Time for a Dance
You'll need some traditional Burns night entertainment to make the night special. No Burns Night can be considered complete unless a 'willow has been stripped', by which I mean a Ceilidh has been danced. We have a huge range of Ceildh and Folk bands to suit every taste. Ceilidh Band London for the capital’s top Ceilidh bands and your guests will get taught hilarious and fun dances throughout the night. This dance is designed around merriment so no there's need to worry about getting the steps right. It’s largely skipping, hand-holding and swinging.
The whole point of Ceilidh dancing is that it’s fun, it isn’t challenging and it gets people together. We can’t think of a better reason for a knees-up. If you do find yourself worrying about whether or not your dancing is going to show you up (it won’t - Ceilidhs are more ‘flinging’ than dancing), you could always book some accompanying Scottish Dancers.
Ceilidhs are pretty exhausting so when you’re all a bit sweaty and the haggis is but a distant memory, it’s time to relax. Lots of our bands can offer custom extras, such as a duo to serenade your guests as they get your breath back. There are few finer after-dinner pleasures than a fiddler and guitarist.
You could impress the musicians by requesting a ‘set of reels’, a ‘set of jigs’, or, if you really wanted to have them nodding in approval as well as getting some sideways glances from your guests, request a ‘slipjig’.
Robert Burns was - and is - known as something of a party animal, so it's fitting to celebrate his life and work with an explosive finale. Fireworks are something are a great way to mark this mid-winter occasion, and you could always complement the pyrotechnic show with a Fire Dancer.
Follow our Burns Night top tips for a party that will stand out from the rest
Burns Night is a celebration that brings people together, from families to whole communities. This is a great event to celebrate the land of the thistle and to do something unique that will certainly impress your guests. Throughout the night there is always something fun and high-spirited going on; and in the bleak, cold doldrums of January, a Burns Night event is a light in the dark.
If you are planning a special Burns Night celebration or have any other event planned for the new year, please do get in contact with our dedicated team of Entertainment Specialists today - they are experts in advising about the best entertainment solutions for your event and will work with you to ensure it is one to remember!
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