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Last Updated: Wednesday January 25 2006 08:28 GMT

Celebrating Burns Night

Press Packer Mark

Robert Burns was a famous 18th century Scottish poet. Each year, on 25 January, Scots all over the world celebrate his birthday.

The celebrations can vary from a massive dinner with music, speeches and lots of food to a quiet night of poetry reading.

In his report Press Packer Mark tells us about the different ways in which he celebrates Burns Night.

"Loads of people celebrate Burns Night, in Scotland and in other places all over the world.

There are lots of traditions that are connected to Burns Night and it can be celebrated in loads of different ways.

Some Burns Night suppers are held in very grand, formal clubs. They often have a prize-giving as well as readings during the evening. A lot of people celebrate it at home with their families though.

Haggis

On Burns Night we go around my gran's house.

As part of the traditional Burns Night supper we eat haggis, neeps and tatties. Neeps are turnips and tatties are potatoes. Both are mashed for the Burns Night supper.

I like the neeps and tatties but I'm not so sure about the haggis.
Haggis ingredients
A haggis
One sheep's stomach
Sheep lungs and heart
Lamb's liver
Beef trimmings
Suet
Oatmeal
Onions
Nutmeg
Salt and pepper

It's very meaty and it's made out of bits of animal you'd rather not know about!

We all wear our good clothes for the supper.

A toast

My papa gives a speech, which is for the haggis. There's also a toast to the haggis as well.

My papa then cuts the haggis and puts it on all our plates.

For the last couple of years I've written a poem for our Burns Night supper. It's only a wee short one about Robert Burns and I read it after dinner.

I don't get nervous reading it aloud because it's only in front of my family.

School celebrations

We also have a Burns Night celebration at school too.

We learn about Robert Burns in our English classes and there are lots of books about him in the library.

Before the meal we say a poem to the haggis and a speech is made about Robert Burns.

The head boy then makes a toast to the lassies (the girls) and the lassies toast back. The toasts are cheeky but good natured.

I think the toasts are the best bit. People write proper speeches and they're always a laugh.

Keeping tradition alive

I think Robert Burns was really ahead of his time and had a lot to say.

I think it's very important to celebrate Burns Night so that he isn't forgotten."

Mark, 14, Glasgow


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