Haggis exports get a £250,000 Burns Night boost

Haggis is made from a mixture of sheep's heart liver and lungs and mixed with oatmeal
VisitBritain  Britain on View  Getty

Haggis is made from a mixture of sheep's heart liver and lungs and mixed with oatmeal Credit VisitBritain Britain on View Getty

As we celebrate the birthday of legendary Scottish poet Robert Burns tomorrow (25 February), we thought it only fair to share some of London's best Scottish-themed celebrations from the likes of Mac & Wild, Boisdale and Mr Fogg's.

The cult of Burns is celebrated all year in Scotland, but a special veneration is reserved for his birthday. On a 2016 trip to Peru that coincided with Burns Night, he made a haggis using a common meat in that part of the world: guinea pig. He passed away on July 21, 1796. While the cause of death has been disputed, it's believed he died due to chronic rheumatic heart disease.

Since 1801, five years after his death aged 37, the people of Scotland have celebrated the poet with a Burns Night Supper, serving the traditional dish of sheep's innards wrapped in an animal's stomach, alongside an evening of poetry, whisky and singing. Formal suppers are held at the 250 official Burns Clubs worldwide, and various restaurants and private individuals host Burns suppers too.

What food should you eat on Burns Night? . After opening remarks by the host and the recitation of the traditional Selkirk Grace, the haggis is brought out with great fanfare, sometimes accompanied by a parade of bagpipes. Following this, a reading of the Burn's ode "Address to a Haggis" must be read out by one of the guests.

After the meal, the night isn't over.

There is also a chance for personal testaments of the widespread love of Burns, most famously in the important toast known as The Immortal Memory. The men have to be careful, though, because it's the women who get the last laugh with the "Reply to the Toast to the Lassies".

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But after pressing on, they discovered it could be made to taste good after all.

Burns Night celebrates other aspects of Scotland's history and culture, as well as its national dish.

It's not only demand for vegetarian haggis that is soaring - interest in Burns Night itself has taken off in England and Wales, Tesco reports, with demand for haggis soaring by 700 percent in the week of Burns Night.

But if you want to say "Happy Burns Night" in Scottish Gaelic, then you can choose to say "Oidhche Bhlas Burns". "Alternatively, a tartan dress, skirt or other garments might be worn", advises Scottland.org.

However, he continued his prodigious creative output, becoming one of the foremost lyric poets by writing a prodigious number of songs, usually arranged to traditional Scottish folk melodies. Just so you know.

Burns night has it all; from neeps to buttered leeks and, of course, some lovely tatties. The 2019 edition will feature "a heady mixture of cabaret, comedy, music, and entertainment in over 30 different venues as the town goes bonkers for 11 days of winter magic".

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