Burns Night - The Ceremony Of Haggis
The ceremony of haggis is an integral, traditional, almost tongue-in-cheek feature of the Burns Supper - an event which honours the birthday of Rabbie Burns.
Scotland's world famous poet was so taken with the national dish, he even wrote and ode to it - prompting the creation of the ceremony.
With most suppers taking place on or around Burns Night (or Burns Nicht), January 25th, Scots are just winter-weary enough to welcome an excuse to eat hearty food and enjoy a blood-thickening tipple.
A dish combining a sheep's heart, lungs and liver, minced with onion, oatmeal, suet and spices, non-Scots may wince at the thought of trying haggis for the first time!
Yet with its distinct spices and meaty texture, haggis is known for hearty, comforting qualities in the depths of the harsh Scottish winter.
The entrance of the haggis takes place usually after the host's welcoming speech. A piper plays a soulful tune while the cook enters with a giant haggis on a tray.
Having lain it down on the main table, hunger is put on hold while the host reads one of Burn's most famous poems; address to a haggis, a humorous ode to that 'great chieftain o' the puddin-race!'
Enjoyed with neeps 'n' tatties (mashed turnips and potatoes!), a nip of whisky completes the dining experience.
The Burns Supper is also characterised by Scottish music, ceilidh dancing and poetry reading. Let's not forget as well, the 'toast to the lassies', which is followed by a 'reply to the toast to the lassies' - all good hearted banter!
Burn's Suppers today are celebrated by Scots, expatriates and enthusiasts the world over, but there's no experience like toasting the bard in Edinburgh.
There is a wealth of Edinburgh accommodation available for visitors attending Burns Suppers in any part of the Scottish Capital.
For added flexibility, there are quality serviced apartments in Edinburgh which allow freedom and affordability.
Edinburgh apartments are often of a high standard, so you have a real 'home from home' to return to after a late night dancing. You can ever try self-catering in you apartment's kitchen - but you might want to leave the haggis to the experts!
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